“Hungry Bellows of the Minotaur” was an interactive installation that took place on November 18, 2011 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of aerial bombardment, which had occurred two and a half weeks earlier. On November 1st 1911, Italian pilot Giulio Gavotti decided to drop his standard issue hand grenades on Turkish forces while on a low-flying observation flight during the brief war between Italy and the Ottoman Empire. This is the first recorded instance of explosives being dropped from an airplane. The choice of title for this project is a reference and homage to Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica”, which was created in response to the bombing of the town of the same name by German and Italian warplanes in 1937. Picasso’s painting prominently features a bull at the left edge of the imagery.
The installation consisted of a false topography, a rolling hillside, covered with hundreds of simplified house forms made of packed soil. The shape of the buildings and densely clustered landscape was intended to be representative of third world shanty towns, villages in current war-zones, and our own suburban sprawl of poorly constructed tract homes. The audience was invited to “toss” projectiles made of cast iron into the field of housing; thereby causing destruction of the installation. Video and photos are the only permanent record for this otherwise temporary work.
The goal of the project was and is to cause a moment of reflection in the audience as to the ramifications of this method of warfare on the world at large and in their daily lives. From the fire-bombing of Dresden, the carpet bombing of North Vietnam, the Shock and Awe campaign over Iraq, to Hiroshima and Nagasaki; air delivered ordinance has been used to great and horrific effect. Aerial bombardment allows us a distance. It allows for a removal of the human component in warfare because of this distance and my intention is to bring things to eye level.