Looking At The Unbearable   2 comments

Francisco Goya, from The Disasters of War Series (First Edition of 1863) — National Galleries of Scotland

In 1994, Susan Sontag wrote in Transforming Vision — Writers On Art, edited by Edward Hirsch, on The Disasters of War by Francisco. 

“The images are relentless, unforgiving. That is, they do not forgive us—who are merely being shown, but do not live in the house of pain. 
The images tell us we have no right not to pay attention to pay attention to the crimes of this order which are taking place right now.
And the captions—mingling the voices of the murders, who think of themselves as warriors, and the lamenting artist-witness—mutter and wail.
The problem is despair. For it is not simple that this happened: Zaragoza, Chinchon, Madrid (1808-13). It is happening Vucovar,
Mostar, Srebrenica, Srebrenica, Stupni Do, Sarajevo (1991–   )
.” Note: The images and captions are meant to awaken, shock, rend. Yet the list of wars continues with Ukraine.

“Here in the words of some of the captions is what  they show:

One cannot look at this.
This is bad.
This is how it happened.
This always happens   .
There is not one to help them.
With or without reason.
He defends himself well.
He deserved it.
Bury them snd keep them quiet.
There was nothing to be done and he died.
What madness!
This is too much!
Nobody knows why.
Not in this case either.
This is worse.
This is the absolute worst!
It will be the same.
All this and more.
The same thing elsewhere.
Perhaps they are of another breed.
I see it.
And this too.
Truth has died.
This is the truth.”

2 responses to “Looking At The Unbearable

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  1. Nobody knows why. (perhaps the mirror has an answer. )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. heartbreaking

    Liked by 2 people

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