The American Kills in Iraq
‘American kills’ by Chilean-born, New York based artist Sebastian Errazuriz is a public installation showcasing the suicide rates of US soldiers. After searching on official war sites on the internet, he accidentally found out that 2 times more American soldiers had died in 2009 by committing suicide than those killed during that same year in the war in Iraq; an alarming comparison that Errazuriz had personally never read or heard about before.
A first google search showed only reports of media alarm about suicide rates, but the information was always comfortably presented divided into months and generally separated by statistics from the army, navy or air-force.
Errazuriz’s first instinct was to post the statistic on facebook, dumbfounded by the lack of response and interest, he bought can of black paint and decided to ‘post’ the news in the real world on his own wall outside his studio in Brooklyn. Equipped with a ladder, he marked a black strip for every dead soldier, until both the suicide rates and war rates
occupied the entire wall and were registered as a single image.
Shocking as it may be, this is the ugly truth and this is what no one wants to know or hear about it.