T48.1 Iliad cenotaphs
The Iliad Cenotaphs combine the classic text of Homer’s Iliad
with modern medical mapping of the human body. Throughout the Iliad,
over two hundred and fifty soldiers are given names, birthplaces,
and lineages, only to be slaughtered on the battleground in anatomically
A cenotaph, a word derived from the Greek kenos (empty) and taphos
(tomb), is a monument erected for one whose remains are elsewhere.
With the Iliad Cenotaphs, it is my intention to erect monuments
for these mythic figures, to illuminate their enduring purpose in
the canon of human stories.
As the location of their wounds is recorded, as well as the weapon
of transgression, it is possible to trace this mortal passing with
a physical passage of assault. In this body of work, I am currently
sculpting and painting the negative space of each soldier’s
wound as if it were an anatomical model to be studied and analyzed.
Through the cartography of the body, the medical view of the world
illuminates not only the physical properties of life, but also the
intangible value of it. In this representation, the Hippocratic
oath stands in stark contrast to the futility of war. Against the
horror and literal disembodiment that is modern warfare, these ancient
warriors offer an almost eerily serene entry-point for the contemplation
of life, and its violent cessation.