elin O'Hara slavick, 'Bomb after Bomb, A Violent Cartography'

IssueMay 2008
Review by Emily Johns

Imagine travelling the world in your dreams, navigating your way through its war zones with a set of dream maps – maps with some of the traditions of Western cartography, indications of lines of longitude and latitude, perhaps the outlines of countries – as well as beautiful colours rising off the land.

Bomb after Bomb is an atlas of places the United States has bombed, stretching from 19th century Nicaragua to 21st century Iraq, using hypnotically beautiful paintings by US artist elin O’Hara slavick that fuse the bomber’s eye view, the God’s eye view, of the distant earth, with the emotional knowledge of what happens to the bombed.

These maps recall Aboriginal Dreamtime paintings; the story of US atrocities is carefully written in a precise language that talks to our subconscious, to our picture-mind.

They fill the space in our political consciousness that is left after we have read texts, looked at photographs and watched documentaries – the thinking soul.

Topics: Bombing, History
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