Cans of beer

Kat Mammone

visual arts

I studied Fine Art and Art History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since then I have continued my artistic practice and have had my work shown in numerous exhibitions and competitions, including CCA in California, the National Portrait Gallery in London and The Centre of Primo Levi and Academy of Fine Arts in Genoa, Italy.

'The Sunday Times Magazine, October 2007'

This installation consists of 100 matchboxes made into light boxes, each with an individual fairy light behind it, backlighting an image of an unrecognisable face. The work needs to be shown in a dark space on its own. It comes with a small ledge which is attached to the wall, on which it is hung. It has one plug which needs an electricity socket. The theorist S. Sontag, in her book “On Photography” said ‘we become anaesthetised to images after repeated exposure, our conscience becomes deadened and no longer aroused by images that should concern us’. I started thinking about the role of the mass media in our understanding of conflicts. In 2008 The Brighton Photo Biennial, UK, posed the question: can the imagery of war still impact meaningfully on lives and opinions in modern times? My installation uses cut-outs from the magazine of passport sized photos of the first 250 British troops killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What interested me about this article was its desire to pay tribute to and memorialise the troops, in a medium that is so ephemeral. I discovered by chance that light passing through the pages resulted in a disturbing overlaying of the soldier’s faces, removing their identity. What this did, conceptually, was interesting to me and I made the installation to the same effect. The ethereality of the matchbox and the obvious hand-made look suggests it is a very personal shrine of remembrance. And yet it is to no-one in particular, about non-specific victims. This art work is hoping to achieve critical political thinking, through aesthetics, using the images that we have become anaesthetised to.