Deathscapes

SHOOTING STARS by Sasha Huber

Deathscapes

2014- ongoing

Sasha Huber’s Shooting Stars series is dedicated to victims of gunshot assassinations and killing perpetrated for political, ethnic, ideological or economic reasons.

It portrays historical figures, among them: African-American Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King (1925-1965); leader of the Indian Independence Movement Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948); Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme (1927-1986); and less well-known victims, such as the Brazilian trade union leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes (1944-1988). The series also includes a member of the artist’s own family: ex-army officer Henri Perpignand (1914-1958), who returned to Haiti from exile in Miami in 1958 and was shot during an attempted coup against the dictator François Duvalier.

The series also highlights two resounding tragedies: the politically and ideologically motivated massacre of 77 members of the “Worker’s Youth League” in Norway in 2011; and the killing of the young Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati, who was shot during a demonstration in Australia’s detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in 2014.

One of the underlying messages of the series is that in the USA African-Americans still live in danger on a daily basis, facing racial profiling by the authorities, security forces, or self-appointed vigilantes, who single-handedly carry out the modern-day equivalent of lynchings.

The ongoing Shooting Stars series includes a portrait of the assassination-attempt survivor Malala Yousafzai (1997-), who in 2014 became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her cause is the age-old, worldwide struggle for equality and for children’s right to education. The portrait also pays homage to those who have accepted perpetual life-threatening danger in order to pursue their cause.

The staple gun that Sasha Huber uses to make her works echoes the gunshots that have rung out again and again when “icons” of the struggle for human rights and justice have been brutally murdered. With her works, Huber asks: What would the world be like if all these people had not been killed? One week before his murder, Thomas Sankara – the socialist revolutionary from Burkina Faso who became “Africa’s Che Guevara” – declared: “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill their ideas.

Like meteors, the men and women that Sasha Huber portrays have flashed, and still flash, across the sky above us, momentarily lighting up the metaphorical darkness of horror and injustice that surrounds us. Like meteors – traditionally wished upon in many cultures – they allow us to formulate our longings and to project our desires. And they leave us wondering whether shooting stars might turn into much-needed guiding stars.

To see the full Shooting Stars series, click here


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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