Providence, Sovereignty, Volition by David Martinez
Providence, Sovereignty, Volition is an installation that takes a critical stance on religious and cultural radicalism through the translation of fetishized cultural motifs. There is a subdued quality to Middle Eastern commodities, specifically Afghan war rugs made in the late 1970s, which often used patterns that subtly implied war motifs influenced by the invasion of the Soviet Union. In contemporary Middle Eastern culture, blatant icons and texts were often used as a result of the 2001 invasion of the United States.
The exhibition evokes comfort and terror by juxtaposing soft wool rugs with replicas of assault rifles, symbolizing the era of freedom and oppression between 1979 and 2001. The material used to make the rifles relates directly to ancient canons and the current state of mass production. Stained glass signifies Christian idolatry while the resin casts signify the mass production of modernity. The motifs both liberate and subjugate while containing qualities of pessimism and optimism.