Re-Imaginings Index  |  Richard Horvath Artworks

Digital print Re-imagining 26

Re-Imagining 26:
Riot 2005

Inkjet on watercolour paper
90 x 60 centimetres

In the riots that were inflamed by the publication of the Muhammed cartoons in the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, protestors in Pakistan attacked Western cultural symbols, such as McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants. The photographers who recorded these events took great care in framing the pictures so that the rioters’ intent is unmistakeable. An inanely grinning Ronald McDonald doll is twisted out of shape by a protestor dressed in traditional shalwar kameez as amused bystanders look on, and visible in the background, the restaurant from which the doll has been unceremoniously removed, signified by the Golden Arches.
Apart from the rigid Ronald McDonald dumped on a bed of cardboard redolent of a makeshift bed and soon to be a pyre, the interpretation of those photos in this print is less specific. The tableau is more frozen than the chaotically kinetic riot photos; it is formally composed as if it is a record of an obscure ritual. The rioters seem like members of a sporting club, the site of the event is a generic car park and the stonily anonymous bystanders register only a mild curiosity, probably like many members of the Western news audience.

Riot photo 1 | Riot photo 2