CAN YOU SEE WHAT I SEE, 2023
perfect-bound book, 90 pages, edition of 25;
afterword by Carmen Winant
Can You See What I See? borrows from the format of the Children's Activity Book to explore themes of visibility and violence in warfare and education. Children's Activity Books are a popular genre of publication meant to be in equal parts educational and entertaining. Often thematic in nature and printed on cheap gray paper, they are filled with coloring pages, and well known games and puzzles such as Word Search and Spot the Difference.
In Can You See What I See?, the coloring pages, rather than featuring popular cartoon characters or farm animals, consist of line-based compositions based on contemporary and historical military camouflage patterns from around the world. Word Search puzzles prompt viewers to identify missile and fighter jets that were named after animals or common weather phenomena. Spot the sniper, another set of images that appears throughout the book, is based on the Hidden Object Puzzle - a learning game asking children to find objects in a busy composition.
Bringing together a wealth of archival research, with an observation of the artist’s own daughter’s education and media consumption, Can You See What I See? attempts to trace linkages between early childhood education and warfare, which, upon closer scrutiny, are revealed to be complex, multi-layered and highly disconcerting.
The War At Home