War Spoils

THE SLOW REVEAL OF CHRISTOPHER HEADLEY’S NEW CERAMIC installation War Spoils exposes the viewer to deepening layers of horror. Here is an artist who deliberately has left himself open to the putrid news that pours forthevery day from the media. People being ceremonially beheaded on YouTube, taken off a bus and shot, or hit by drones – such events have become commonplace. We are all familiar with the term, ‘The Spoils of War’. It legitimises the looting, pillaging and rape as a right of the victors after battle. It is a term that has resonated throughout history. By turning it around into War Spoils, atotally different meaning emerges; we identify an ambiguity. This other meaning is the driver behind this exhibition. War Spoils is a major installation that is the end point of Headley’s capitulation of his inbuilt censorship screen, which we all have, to deliberately allow his mind to process these events without pity or anger. The form of the work, arranged as an eternal circle, combines the nostalgia of his youth in post WWII York, England, with the sci-fi reality that contemporary war has become.

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