September 24th to 1st November
Sacred Defense, embedded mainly in the post-war reality of the Iraq-Iran war, is a story of producing artificial war images and reconstructing historical events to create a group memory. It not only traces the existing modes of construction of fake war narrations, it also creates a new, war-related simulacra in digitally amended satellite images of nuclear installations.
Sacred Defense is a game, in which images make us believe we see the war. However We are looking at illusions. We follow how the war simulacra of social and political importance are being created within different spaces and narrations. A cinema city, constructed only for the purpose of shooting war movies, is a self-referencing space, created not to be experienced itself, but to become an image of war. Museums mimic the wartime reality in the smallest detail; with wax figures of particular martyrs allow to meet fallen heroes again; and plastic replicas of antipersonnel mines sold as souvenirs.
From a play between the copy and the original, author leads us to the point where he creates new simulation. He amends satellite images of Iranian nuclear installations with mutually exclusive versions of destruction, which may be caused by a hypothetical Western strike. Buildings destroyed in some images stand intact in others, and all parallel versions of the same event are presented on a single satellite map.
On the one hand, we have alternative versions of destruction, but at the same time we see a multiplication of the same strike, a repetition required, to use Milan Kundera’s view, to create real meaning in historical events. Yet in his self-referencing simulations, the author does not use past events as a basis, but instead is plotting alternatives and producing ‘proofs’ of an event that never happened despite being widely discussed in the media.