Tyrannenmord (Tyrannicide): New Work by Jan Bejšovec

Jan Bejšovec, a textile artist working in Berlin on his label “Konfliktstoff” 1 has made a new work, “Tyrannenmord” (tyrannicide). It addresses both actual developments in the Arab world and the general dealing with dictators: for more than 30 years, Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya with an iron fist. The world was able to come to terms with him, especially since he departed from his previous support of international terrorism. Thus, the external perception was mainly reduced to his high entertainment value. Quite unexpectedly, the uprising that begun in February 2011 lead to Gaddafi’s escape and his homicide, including the presentation of his dead body.

Corresponding to Bejšovec’s artistic style, this expressive work (40 x 60 cm) consists of various textile applications and embroidery laid on a stretcher frame. As usual, the camouflage patterns used have been chosen carefully.

The artist by himself:2

Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi met his fate on 20 October 2011 in his hometown, with his death being like an apparently fair punishment.

The resistance movement, only successful because of NATO’s support, avenged Gaddafi’s crimes through a lynching mob. The shocked expression due to his near end was immortalised by mobile phone cameras, shaking in blood rage.

Konfliktstoff is quoting this medial tyrannicide with a collage of red textile applications and embroidery.

The levels of meaning of the fabrics applied include the camouflage material of the German Bundesgrenzschutz,3 – its camouflage pattern was used in very similar way by the Libyan Army -, Swiss camouflage, thus linking to the conflict between Switzerland and the Gaddafi clan, and oriental embroidery and mirror appliqués, pointin to the Arab cultural area of Libya.

The “Arabellion” is far from having come to an end. It is more than just one open question which directions the different states will choose.


Further articles about Jan Bejšovec and his works here at Wartist:

Wartist presents: Group Show “Turning Point” on 10 years of 9/11 at ARD-Hauptstadtstudio, Berlin

Wartist presents Jan Bejšovec: “Konfliktstoff Deutschland” (Berlin)

Wartist presents: Textile Art – Matter of Conflict

Jan Bejšovec: Peace Column (Berlin)

  1. German Konfliktstoff means “causes of conflict”, put together by Konflikt (conflict) and Stoff, literally meaning fabric
  2. Translation Bayer
  3. The former Federal Border Police, now Bundespolizei

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