Marc Henry

selected works and shows

detailed portfolio available upon request.

Requiem for a Battle Never Fought

2020, relief, multiple (3)
epoxy resin bas-relief, car paint, multiple (3), 41 x 44 x 5 cm 

photos © Jana Perusich

The work “Requiem for a Battle Never Fought” revolves around the mechanisms of historicizing events. In times of Photoshop and deepfake, new entertainment media and fake news, the question of authenticity and concepts of truth and reality arise more than ever. Media images of demonstrations are chased through the world wide web and reach us on our end devices. The work shows that people are driven out onto the streets again and again because of the same issues. In doing so, however, the media representations and stagings change.

While in the times of Michelangelo, individuals and early art historians like Giorgio Vasari delivered events (real or fictional) to posterity, today a broad authorship producing images of protests can be found. There is a danger in the mass-produced images, that of subjectification and manipulation. Media images, myths and stories have formed a collective memory in us, in which past demonstrations and political movements have also been stored. This memory is tapped again and again and rewritten in the same breath. Historical figures are quoted in current speeches. The likenesses of those who have already fallen can be found on banners. In this way the past continues to exist in the present and the future already becomes present.

“Requiem for a Battle Never Fought” stages a fictional historical event in the form of the apparently traditional relief technique to honor historical or legendary events. The work has the same format as Michelangelo's Battle of the Centaurs, a relief that he - according to legend - is said to have created around 1492 at the age of 15-17. In the first step, a collage of more than 30 components of photos of contemporary protests from all over the world was manipulated in Photoshop and merged into a photographic collage in the manner of perspective Renaissance reliefs. This image file was then passed through a digital instrument, which classically creates heat map reliefs based on cartographies. The file obtained in the process can also be understood as a heatmap, but that of a wave of protests of our time. In the next step, the digital files were prepared for 3D printing / milling processes to provide a plastic positive. Lastly, a silicon mold is used to create a cast positive. The artwork thus represents the transformation of a staged photograph into a sculptural three-dimensional piece.