SHOOTING BACK
  

2004

The Shooting Back – Reflections on Haitian Roots series was part of my Master’s thesis, and investigates Haitian history and my roots. It criticizes some individuals who contributed to the historical and social conditions in Haiti, from the 15th century up to the 20st century, and who made it what it is today – the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

The work consists of portraits of the conqueror Christopher Columbus, and of the former Haitian dictators François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. I have developed a working method that allows me to visualize and communicate my opinions. All the portraits have been realized through the violent act of “shooting back”: a process that uses a semi-automatic stapling gun and approximately 100,000 staples. All three portraits were made on abandoned bits of plywood picked up in the streets and wastelands of Helsinki.

I experienced the act of “shooting back” concretely, and indirectly discovered a way of helping and defending Haitians in a symbolic manner. Each shot represents lost human lives, which can perhaps be counted in their millions.

Read text by art historian and critic Taava Koskinen (scroll down)


Christopher Columbus (Conqueror, 15th century). 2004.
Metal staples on abandoned wood, 80 x 115 cm.
Private collection, Helsinki.

Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier (Dictator of Haiti, 1957-71). 2004.
Metal staples on abandoned wood, 80 x 115 cm.
Private collection, Paris.


Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier (Dictator of Haiti, 1971-86). 2004.
Metal staples on abandoned wood, 80 x 115 cm.
Collection of Botkyrka Konsthall, Botkyrka municipality, Sweden.

Self portrait. 2004.

X-rays and making-of made in Helsinki. 2004.