Whose country?November 8, 2009
I’ve seen Steve McQueen’s ‘Queen and Country’ at a couple of different venues – if you’ve not, it’s the sheets of replica postage stamps depicting British soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. The Turner prize winning artist is campaigning with the families of the dead soldiers to have the Royal Mail issue them as real stamps. McQueen went to Iraq as an official war artist and has kept his support or opposition to the war to himself. I have a bit of a problem with the ambivalence of the piece, and so am not surprised that papers like the Telegraph and the Mail seem to like it. I haven’t been to Iraq and haven’t kept my opposition to the war to myself. So here then, on Remembrance Sunday, is my stamp ‘Whose Country’. From me ripping off one piece of remembrance related art to another I wish I’d thought of, Jonty Semper, did a double album in 2001 called Kenotaphion (“empty tomb”) which featured all the surviving recordings of the two minute silences at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day.