Mixed Media > Wash

ethnic cleansing, soap sculpture, ceramic, text, CNC carving, otherness, belonging, ethnic slurs, racial slurs, refugees, life raft,
Wash

Ceramic soap dish, handmade soap, metal
6’ x 30’ x 7” installation
2020

In 1992, I conceived and designed an unrealised text-based installation entitled Ethnic Cleansing, now titled, Wash. The idea behind this mixed-media sculpture was ignited by the widespread reports during that year of the heinous acts committed by the Serbian-Yugoslavian president, Slobodan Miloševic, against the Albanians, Croats and Bosnians. His offenses “included massacres, ethnic cleansing, systematic rape, crimes against humanity and genocide”. I was struck by what seemed to me the inherent contradiction in the notion of “ethnic cleansing,” a phrase that became ubiquitous in the media and ultimately sparked my protest installation against the hideousness of the Serbian atrocities. I expanded my project to include other forms of ethnic cleansing besides the Serbian horror expressed as racial slurs and mass racial violence. Can such stains on the body politic and upon the consciousness of humanity ever be washed away?