September 4 - September 27, 2003
The year of 2003 started with the US preparing for war, which to me was a frightening outlook.
Growing up in Germany, I was taught that the most terrifying thing that could happen in one’s lifetime is a war. Since my parents were children in World War II, my own childhood was filled with their stories and images, telling of what it means to be caught in such a disaster.
One of the images that struck me particularly was that of screaming cows. When the bombers were flying over the villages, people would crouch in their basements so the cows often could not be milked. This caused them to “scream” in agony, for their udders were bursting. As a child I found this description particularly frightening, because in a child’s understanding of the world, cows don’t cry.
This primal outcry of a large animal was the first thing that came to my adult mind as the US began the Iraq war, an outcry not over the animals’ agony but for the human terror it expresses.
I don’t see myself as a political artist, yet I do feel a certain urgency to express my concern about world events that are so large in scale that I can’t possibly address them adequately. What I can do is reduce all the information and observations to what I can understand and find a form for it. In this case, I could only voice my concern in the form of a cow, using its voice as a human expression.