Helena Walsh

Regimented Chaos


Regimented Chaos   Regimented Chaos   Regimented Chaos
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“Regimented Chaos” comments on the media circulation of imagery exposing the unethical treatment of Iraqi prisoners of war by US soldiers in Abu Ghraib prison. The work makes reference to the political background from which the imagery emerged using ticking parcels to comment on the media hype surrounding the elusive search for weapons of mass destruction in “The War on Terror.” In the performance the artist sets off the ticking parcels wrapping the final one up in ribbons and newspaper while also kissing, hugging and sexually interacting with the television screens on which a still of the Abu Ghraib imagery is displayed. The prisoners’ bodies are gradually erased across the screens in reference to how the pain inflicted in situations of torture is inexpressible and unimaginable and how this allows the plight of the prisoners to be negated. The work allows three different viewing experiences, all of which are linked yet contradict one another (1) The live performance, (2) The documentation and (3) The installation environment. The work, thus, highlights how the documentation of real-time experience both reveals and censors the actualities of an event.