Thursday, 8 March 2012

Interpreting Art: Analysis 2

"Mass Deportation."
Hendrik Valk
Watercolour and China Ink

This image shows a mass of people that were deported during the Holocaust. This is a depiction of just one section of one deportation. Instantly the reality of the statistics - 6 million - hits home and becomes hard to take in. 

You can see the mechanical way in which these people are drawn - almost like lego. The structure of this particular story is clear, straight from the first glance.

I believe this image shows us how the millions of people who were persecuted during the Holocaust were treated in the same manner and were looked upon with the same prejudice. None of them were treated as individual human beings.

The very linear and structured composition that Valk uses also enhances and warns of the methodical torture and mass extermination that awaited these people when they were to arrive at there destination. 

This image, to me, conveys a certain irony about it all. How can an image of this theme be so structured and linear when the whole idea of the Holocaust was as immoral and illogical - as far from perfect as you can get? 

The SS Guard, larger than life, dominant and threatening - the "Master" holding a gun and what appears to be a knife of some kind. 
The Persecuted, innocent and weary, walking like beggars, crippled from the weight of their belongings.

I feel that I had to abandon this analysis after this last comment. This is because I think I am getting to carried away with my own opinion. However, I think it acts as a good piece of research because after looking up various critical texts that talk about Holocaust Art, I have found that it is almost impossible to find one that is neutral - in the sense that the authors opinion doesn't take over. Perhaps, I what I have learnt from this project the most, is that you can't be unbiased when talking about this theme? I feel that the whole subject matter infuses a great deal of anger and upset in the analyser. I have also found that you can get very lost in this kind of artwork. The Holocaust is such an intense subject and one that effects so many people, that it's hard to not go over board sometimes. 

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