Waterboarding: Last Gasp for Habeas Corpus and the Geneva Conventions

24 May

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATimothy Feresten. Untitled photograph. Martha and Stas wheatpasting during performance of Waterboarding: Last Gasp for Habeas Corpus and the Geneva Conventions.

At the time Julia Sher’s video of this performance was created I was hoping to upload to YouTube.  The site did not host film this long, but they do now.  Since the video has “sat on a shelf” for such a long time, in retrospect, it would seem to be irrelevant to today’s political landscape.  Yet, at least with the ongoing incarceration of Bradley Manning, the power and authority of the state over the individual is still extremely important.  The video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9L5PcUHkTg

The event took place at the Jonathan Shorr Gallery September 30, 2006, following the passage of the Congressional Military Commissions Act of 2006 earlier in the week.  Role playing the parts of a State now authorized with absolute power over the citizen or non-citizen individual, John Landino, the interrogator, assisted by gallery visitors, coordinated the apprehension and interrogation of David Duckworth as detainee.  After being suited, hooded and strapped to a canvas gurney, Duckworth was paraded along a section of a New York city street while under continuing interrogation.  Returned to the gallery for “torture,” Duckworth was then stripped and covered with wet plaster cloth.  Visitors then applied torn texts from the Military Commissions Act, the Taguba report, a U.S. Army document on Iraqi prisoner abuse, and news accounts covering habeas corpus, torture, the rights of detainees, the United States and its obligation as signatory to international treaties governing these issues, and the moral path of this country in its war on terrorism.  Live spontaneously-composed music was provided by musicians; digital collage created by Beverly Richey follows video.  The work was collaboratively devised by Duckworth, Landino, and Richey; texts and materials were collected by Duckworth.  Video edited by Duckworth.

Other still photographs from event can be seen at an earlier post here, dated May 16, 2012.

This film is carried forward in loving memory of Ezra Talmatch.

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