A behind the scene look at the making of 'Sh*t Head', 4 portraits of Anders Behring Breivik. Part of 'Fear F*cked', a series of work based on fear and anxiety. These portraits incorporate the use of various elements, including organic material such as horse dung and screenprinted portions that encompass the artists blood, printed 77 times. For further information please read the artist statement below and visit the website for art exhibition details in Norway.
For the last 2 years I have been building a body of work that revolves around fear and anxiety. The fears that we choose to believe and tell ourselves through repetitive self talk can thoroughly exhaust us mentally, emotionally, and physically. They can begin to dominate our world and slowly transform us into an unrecognizable version of ourselves that is not only alien to us but also the people around us. We can begin to question our choices in life, who we were and who we believe we are. We turn into an insecure and fragile shell of ourselves. Someone who reacts instinctively, wanting to run and hide to avoid the judging eyes of strangers. This utter confusion eats away at every aspect of our lives, paralyzing us. Worst of all we are painfully aware but unable to change our thoughts and actions, until all our focus is wrapped up in this continuous cycle of fear. On July 22 2011, while in Oslo, one of my greatest fears came to light. Being on the backside of the government building as the truck bomb exploded, I realized my life was out of my hands. With the pressure of the shock wave expanding and contracting around us, thick panes of glass shattered from every direction, buildings around us shook as if they were being demolished and about to collapse. There was nowhere to turn. We helplessly took cover in an open area, fearing loose fragments of glass could spontaneously rain down at any moment from surrounding buildings. Car alarms multiplied and echoed throughout the streets as people began to gather in confusion. Injured people became more visible as emergency units started to arrive. Directions from a random stranger put us on that street, at that moment. If just one variable had been different, these words would not be here now. The impact of one stranger can change all of our lives instantly, drastically, and permanently. It is a scary realization that what we strive to build and control in our lives, can vanish in a second. Things are random, unpredictable and whether you choose to believe it or not, they are out of our hands.
One person should never have the right to change so many lives based on their personal fears. To silence anyone, especially youth who have not had the opportunity to fully develop and form their own ideas. With his trial set to begin in mid April the question remains as to how the Norwegian justice system will handle this case. A maximum sentence of 21 years is the highest punishment that can be handed out. Although there have been discussions on other methods of sentencing, the fact remains that someone who has silenced 77 people could serve 21 years in one of the worlds most lenient prison systems, and still be free before the age of 55. These pieces reflect my personal response to the events that took place last year and are also aimed at bringing awareness regarding appropriate sentencing in a mass murder trial.
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