l aguerre

pen and watercolour on paper
2012 - 295 x 476 mm


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A cenotaph is not a real tomb. It is a little building , often with a statue or some sculpture, that has been erected as a memorial for a deceased celebrity whose body is not present. The celebrity's body whom this here is all about will of course never be found.

Although, as usual, the subject was not premeditated, I have been musing a lot on war whilst drawing this one. Not only the actual wars in countries far away, in which the US of A and its allies are bravely defending the freedom of the people and hopes to install a real consumerist democracy, but also on past ones, even mythic ones like the destruction of Troy and even the big fight in the Mahabharata.

Many people are longing for peace. But when I go deeper into the subject, I don't think I do. Strange that I, a draft-resister, seem to be against peace, and thus in favor of war and its atrocities... Permit me to explain:
From my point of view, war and peace are not only intimately linked, but even inseparable. We all know about the three levels of war of which ideological war is the most terrifying because it inevitably ends with the annihilation of the opposant. And I can well understand that when your family and herd are dying of hunger, your group becomes violent and sets off to occupy new territory for your crops and cattle. But when everything goes right, and there is peace...we tend to fall asleep. Without wanting to play the devil's advocate, I find being interested, enthusiasm and anarchistic freedom more important than peace. Because when there is peace, war is always lurking. We always have to be able to defend ourselves to maintain that peace.

I have always loved Michael Moorcock's first trilogy of Corum, the one in which he gets the eye and the hand of two ancient Gods and has to fight against cruel humans. Near the end of the story the two Gods get their attributes back and tell Corum they have not only destroyed the Lords of Chaos but also the Lords of Law so all creatures could be free from Gods that mingle with their lifes.
The same applies to war and peace. We should get rid of them from a deeper level and thrive more on wonder and enthusiasm, on not gathering much more than we need and on being interested in what others think and how they are living along their principles and customs. Tolerance? Get rid of it! It literally means that someone superior tolerates something they could easily wipe out when they wanted to do so but choose not to, so the others can muddle on untill they become more wise and intelligent. Same goes for the new name for the devil: racism. What happens is usually provocation out of stupidity, whilst racism is such aloathable attitude it calls for a violent reaction. As a result, the victimised start togroup and there we go again. The difference is that their violence and hate are justified by that silly word 'racism'.

Me, I often have strong opinions on things, and that I defend when needed, but I feel no real need to convince anyone, and I constantly live in creative doubt. It is impossible to create without destroying. I am against war because I am against cruelty and a lack of honour (think killing from planes, with drones, chemical weapons, biological weapons...pure cowardice) . War is vulgar, stupid and shows a shocking lack of quality. I am against peace because it leads to a hobbit-like mentality. But if we want to end war, and peace along with it, we'll have to come to terms with ourselves and pay more attention to what happens in our personal worlds. My advice would be: don't take your thoughts too seriously, and don't take yourself so personally.