Pacem in terris

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Paul De Vree

1973

Photography, 80 x 60 cm.
Materials: photo emulsion, canvas

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK3964).

Pacem in terris was initially a ‘typogram’ and appeared in the collection Zimprovisaties (1968). De Vree here used the typewriter to draw a tank on top of a plinth formed by the stacked repetition of the phrase ‘pacem in terris’. By juxtaposing the text with the image of a tank, De Vree undermines the ideology of the arms race between the two superpowers and raises the question as to whether, within the context of nuclear deterrents, peace can ever be maintained or even achieved by increasing the possession of arms.

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