Film and exhibition – currently in development
The idea is to document the sculpture in great detail before and while it is moved, taken down or destroyed, grasping the opportunity to investigate the course of an ideology, depicting its short lived history and providing commentary along the way. To offer a refection on the institute that claims to protect us, but is just as able to destroy others or even whole nations in our name.
This image inspired by the logo of the NATO is part of our collective memory, but its symbolic and political significance has shifted over de decades. During the years of the Cold War but even today, the image often appears as background on reporting by international correspondents and ceremonial meetings of NATO. Being a sculpture it might even have had more television airtime then any other modern sculpture.
Sculptor Raymonde Huyberechts received little acknowledgement for this famous design. Historically, he remains invisible. How should we regard that? Why is one of the most mediated sculptures in the world so blank and what does this say about the organization behind it? What appeals is its contradiction: it is both a symbol of protection and destruction, both of union and war. The sculpture’s form is functional and its visual idiom makes sense. Maybe its actual purpose is to not raise questions?
Over the course of time, the sculpture has become an icon of the past, rather than the present. After all: many other symbols on the face of the earth have already been torn down, blown up, crashed into or collapsed. Compared to the Cold War years this sculpture had a decline in it’s public visiblity and media value.
A significant change of status has emerged: NATO has transported the old sculpture to their new headquarters where it will be a symbol for the future of NATO and it’s ideology.
what will occur when we take a much closer look?
or are we blinded by the light?
Mediafonds Mondriaan Fonds Nederlands Filmfonds
Image “Une sculpture pour l’O.T.A.N.” – published in Le Soir, 1971. All other images copyright Juul Hondius