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Hanna Hannah - Untitled (Iraqi and American soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq)

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TRADITION OF MAYHEM - Curated by Marna Hill

September 16 – October 17, 2013

Untitled (Iraqi and American soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq)

Hanna Hannah, Untitled
(Iraqi and American soldiers in Ramadi, Iraq)
2009-10, casein on paper, 72" x 36"

photo credit: rr jones

Artist Statement

The stream of "high-res" images in the media, as seamlessly continuous as the air we breathe, makes us captive and haunted witnesses to aftermath scenes of war, and of both civilization's and nature's myriad disasters. I was born in Latin America to German-Jewish parents, and as such I am likely pre-disposed to being drawn into such images. Yet, it was with considerable deliberation that I finally allowed these scenes into my work. Theodor Adorno's famously-quoted indictment against poetry (and by extension, art) after the Holocaust --which, albeit, he later recanted --has inevitably cast its moral shadow on this choice of subject in my work.

The decorative surrounds in many of my pieces are not meant to palliate, but rather to beg the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the need to comprehend such atrocities and the inability to do so --to exacerbate the dilemmas of bearing witness. In my practice of painting this has become an attenuated and particularized act of looking closely at "limitsituations" in which life improbably goes on and perhaps --improbably --even hint at regenerative grace.

Hanna Hannah
Santa Cruz, CA
16. IX, 2013