until the story of the hunt is told by the lion / facing horror and the possibility of shame evolved from nichola feldman-kiss’s 2011 tour of the United Nations Mission in Sudan travelling with Canadian Forces peacekeepers. The artwork responds to official witness reports of the aftermath of a massacre at the south Sudanese village of Kaldak. As the title suggests, the installation’s forensic-style photographs invite the viewer to step forward and contemplate, more generally, the distant experience of others silenced by armed conflicts and genocidal violence that have compelled generations of migrants. feldman-kiss combines her own documentary photographs with those of her host, captured under a state imposed photo-ban, and images appropriated from social media. The artwork appeals to proprioceptive and auditory senses to offer the viewer a vicarious experience of witnessing. The gently curved surfaces of backlit photographs present a topography of desiccated remains, rotting clothing, and spent ammunition. Ambient soundscapes of locusts, flies, vultures, a monotone synthetic voice reciting global war statistics, and the account of an actual witness to the Kaldak aftermath provide sensory immediacy, countering the possibility of indifference to images of atrocity.
Text by Christine Conley