Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu’s 2012 speech in front of the
United Nations’ General Assembly went viral. It was not the content of his
message, but his visual aid - a childish illustration of a bomb with a light
fuse - that caught the internets’ attention.
Ten years earlier, American strongman, Donald Rumsfeld, publicly used
military intelligence lingo “unknown knowns” and “unknown unknowns” in an
effort to obfuscate the reasoning behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the weapons
in fact never existed.
In the poster, Patir multiplies the original image of Netanyahu’s UN
speech and using AI generated images, gives Netanyahu random heads. Mashing the
Israeli campaign against Iran’s nuclear proliferation with the US campaign
against Iraq’s imagined proliferation, the poster highlights the hypocrisy in
global security and foreign affairs, where strongmen get to decide who is
qualified to wield the power of ultimate destruction.
Ruth Patir (USA, 1984) fuses documentary with computer-generated imagery
in a quest to expand the possibilities of realism. Ruth’s works often begin
with the artist’s autobiography, and gradually open up to address larger
societal issues, such as the politics of gender, technology, and the hidden
mechanisms of power. Ruth Patir is the Israeli representative at the coming
Venice Biennale 2024.