Beheaded Buddhas

The chopped off head becomes an object of possession - a commodity for commerce. The beheaded body stays back as a relict on the territories of cultural fracking. The act of beheading of a religious artefact becomes an acquisition. A harvester of the fruits of time.

 

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Beheaded Buddha Fig. 0
3D object + essay (published april 2020)

When looking at the head of a Buddha statue in a museum, I never asked myself: "Where is the body of this head?” It doesn't take a detective's trained eye to see a broken edge on the neck of the exposed heads. It is certainly due to my ignorance not to ask the question of the figurative discontinuity when looking at the exhibits. No further explanation was needed, the head alone seemed to me to be a coherent unit, a plausible object. Not even the 'head on a stick', which from the picture was supposed to remind rather of a staked skull to deter the enemies at the gates of a medieval city, did not produce any cognitive dissonance in me. I didn't ask: "Where is the body to this head?" This was the first question I asked myself when in 2018, in Cambodia Angkor, I met Buddha statues without a head - immediately the question was reversed: "Where is the head to this body? And I already knew the answer because I had seen it at the museum as world art. 

The essay to this work will be published in April 2020. As part of the book:

Decapitated Economies - Intercalations 5
by
A-s. Springer, E. Turpin Eds 
Publisher K. Verlag

Selected Works

Beheaded BuddhasProject type

The Other NefertitiArtistic Intervention

Tendaguru MuseumProject type

Fossil FuturesExt.Research

AboutProject type

We RefugeesProject type