Aubin Gallery, Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom
From: 17 November 2011
Until: 24 December 2011
Piers Secunda: Taliban Relief Paintings and Crude Oil Silk Screens
Wednesday - Saturday
11 am until 6 pm
11 am until 5 pm
We know you'll correct us if we’re wrong but we think Piers Secunda’s Taliban Relief Paintings are the most directly inspired pieces of art we've seen on the subject of the Afghan conflict. The paintings feature casts of actual bullet holes shot by the Taliban and damage caused as a result of suicide bombings in the war torn country.
Secunda travelled to the Afghan capital, Kabul, at the end of last year. Two suicide bomb attacks were located in advance and existing bullet holes were confirmed on site by witnesses and the Kabul police to be Taliban-related.
The first site was the scene of an attack on a private security firm in a residential area of Kabul in which two drivers were fatally shot. The bullet holes in Secunda’s work were cast from the pockmarked walls around the car. The casts were then integrated into a series of wall-mounted paint "relief" sculptures, their hanging devices also created using industrial floor paint.
“I wanted to make a physical record of the Taliban’s activities,” Secunda says. “I knew that the work would be compelling if the holes were specifically Taliban and not (created by) security forces or Nato. Bringing them back to England and putting them in a gallery space and being able to look at them and see the texture of them was a compelling idea for me.”
As well as having a geo-political texture to them - literally bringing a more dangerous outside world into the studio - the paintings are also part of Secunda’s ongoing process to push the development of paint as a sculptural three-dimensional material rather than solely two-dimensional. Secunda has worked with manufacturers in the UK and US to determine the longterm durability of paint when not applied to canvas.
The video above follows him on his journey to Afghanistan but if you're in London you can also see the paintings at the Aubin Gallery, Shoreditch from today until December 24.