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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Thirty Nine: Juxtaposition Ė compare and contrast for meaning > A slaveís story, St. Johnís Cathedral, Valletta, Malta, 2011
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25-NOV-2011

A slaveís story, St. Johnís Cathedral, Valletta, Malta, 2011

One of the most evocative monuments in this lavishly appointed cathedral commemorates the life of one of Maltaís most respected Grandmasters, Nicolas Cotonor, who was responsible for much of the buildings decoration, carvings and gildings. A lavishly sculpted 1686 monument stands over Cotonorís own tomb, featuring a triumphal pile of armaments and trophies, supported on the backs of slaves. I zoomed in on the monument to feature just one of those slaves, and only a portion of the armament pile. By abstracting the monument in this way, I create a juxtaposition that tells quite a different story. What was originally intended to memorialize glory and triumph in 1686 can be viewed in 2011 as an example of injustice and cruelty.

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