Artist Finds Inspiration In The Ruins Of ISIS-Destroyed Art

With the help of 3D scans, Pierre Chaumont's work features reimagined renderings of damaged art

ISIS social media account
Sep 06, 2016 at 5:18 PM ET

A new series of digital prints, video, and animated GIFs have managed to give new life to the famous Iraqi art (and possible replicas) destroyed when members of ISIS ransacked The Mosul Museum in 2015. While the so-called caliphate inextricably marred artifacts it felt were wrongfully idolized in the place of Allah, Montreal-based conceptual artist Pierre Chaumont found he was able to pull artistic inspiration from the rubble.

The Creator’s Project notes that after the intentional destruction of hundreds of artifacts housed within the museum, platforms like “Scan The World” and “123D” were created in order to ensure that such cultural artifacts could never be truly lost with the help of 3D scans.

Chaumont used the specs made available on sites like these to create his “Mosul” series, which features altered replications of famous artworks. One especially powerful piece, entitled “The Beginning (Winged Lion Of Mosul),” features a digital print of an obscured Assyrian sculpture — similar to those destroyed in Mosul — with pieces splintering off and flying through the air. Other pieces in the multimedia series include a decapitated Marie Antoinette sculpture, HD-looped video of a bust crumpling in on itself, and a Humpty Dumpty-esque reconfiguration of a King Louis XIV sculpture.

According to the artist’s statement, “Mosul” serves as an “anti-archive” that “reveals and challenges the link between creation of knowledge and dominant power in the digital era through the use of 3D archive.”