The 15th History of the Human Face (The Children of Breughel)

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Eugenio Dittborn

1993

Installation, 140 x 210 cm.
Materials: paper, ashes, cardboard, silkscreen

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK6853_M144).

The 15th History of the Human Face (The Children of Breughel) – one suite from Dittborn’s life-long art project The History of the Human Face – from 1993 was made on unprimed canvas. The work consists of four series of eight silk-screens, eight drawings made by psychiatric patients, eight photographs of convicted thieves from the thirties, eight forensic portraits of Chilean political prisoners, and eight drawings made by Dittborn’s own daughter. The ‘paintings’ also contain text fragments, such as description from a drawing manual, an archeological description of a grave full of skeletons, an Indian poem, and a text written by a seventeenth-century Spanish priest named Rosales recounting his experiences living among the indigenous peoples of Chile. Each portrait was mailed off separately in an accompanying envelope carrying name and address of both sender and addressee. Lying on the floor amidst these wall works, finally, a thirty-third ‘drawing’ made by Dittborn himself forms the crude outline of a house made from ashes: a conclusive allusion to the fragility of all dreams of homeliness longed for by each representative of the human species that adorns the surrounding walls.

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