AZLAN | As you assassinate...

AZLAN
United States of America 1975
Australia from 1980

As you assassinate... 2003
stencil
artist's proof
Not signed. Not dated. Titled printed centre first panel 'As you assassinate'.
sheet (overall) 84.0 (h) x 59.4 (w) cm
Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund 2007
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2007.48.3.A-D
© Azlan McLennen

ARTICLE | PROVENANCE | PREVIOUS

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Mahatma Ghandi

Melbourne artist Azlan is renowned for sparking debate and igniting furore through his divisive, inherently political assemblages of juxtaposed images, photography and text that concentrate particularly on notions of power and inequality.

It is difficult to imagine that this work by Azlan provokes anything other than a universal association with terrorism as recognised in the world post September 11, 2001.  Somewhat eerily, this 2003 piece entitled, As you assassinate… predates a film recovered by police during a spate of raids and arrests in Britain in 2006, in which a man was shown expressing very similar sentiments to the camera.[1]

The clear, simple arrangement of the 4-part stencil presents the message in a blunt and compelling manner which gives the work its stark impact and allows the viewer to reflect on each string of words and their associations.  It is left to the viewer to ponder whether the ‘eye for an eye’ notion featured is intended as an attack on Australia's part in the 'war on terror' - a sympathetic comment regarding those victimised for their religious and political beliefs - or a broader attempt to raise awareness of social and political inequality and perceived global injustice.  Perhaps it's all of the above.

Azlan studied fine arts in Canberra and in 2005 he completed an undergraduate degree at Victorian College of the Arts.

Karie Wilson

[1]The Times, August 30, 2006



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