The Iliad Cenotaphs combine the classic text of Homer’s Iliad with modern medical mapping of the human body. Throughout the Iliad, over two hundred and fifty soldiers are given names, birthplaces, and lineages, only to be slaughtered on the battleground in anatomically precise detail.
A cenotaph, a word derived from the Greek kenos (empty) and taphos (tomb), is a monument erected for one whose remains are elsewhere. With the Iliad Cenotaphs, it is my intention to erect monuments for these mythic figures, to illuminate their enduring purpose in the canon of human stories.
As the location of their wounds is recorded, as well as the weapon of transgression, it is possible to trace this mortal passing with a physical passage of assault. In this body of work, I am currently sculpting and painting the negative space of each soldier’s wound as if it were an anatomical model to be studied and analyzed. Through the cartography of the body, the medical view of the world illuminates not only the physical properties of life, but also the intangible value of it. In this representation, the Hippocratic oath stands in stark contrast to the futility of war. Against the horror and literal disembodiment that is modern warfare, these ancient warriors offer an almost eerily serene entry-point for the contemplation of life, and its violent cessation.