Since 2008 Heide Fasnacht has been exploring landscapes of cultural destruction and in the process has recovered images long dormant and silent. Against our social climate, marked as it is by an inability to face history, Fasnacht takes on the challenge of excavating the past as she examines the fate of cultural artifacts in times of conflict. She begins in medias res, figuratively and literally, and assembles arrays of things stolen, hoarded, lost, recovered, and demolished as a result of war. Fasnacht draws on multiple sources, including the Nazi’s confiscation of art and treasure, the Allies’ bombing of Monte Cassino, looting and damage at the Umm al-Aqarib archaeological site in Iraq following the US invasion, the methodical looting of treasure by Japanese forces in WWII, Japanese internment camps in the US, the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, the London Blitz, the TET offensive, the Monuments Men, and the Rubble Women. The outstanding body of work she has created bears witness to the irreparable waste, destruction, and loss that marks these historical moments, as well as to their continuing and contemporary repercussions.
Heide Fasnacht has shown extensively both in the US and abroad since her first one-person show in New York at P.S.1 in 1979. Her work is represented in many major collections and she is the recipient of several grants and honors, including Edward Albee Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York Foundation for the Arts, Pollock-Krasner, and Rockefeller Fellowship awards.
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