Manuela Leal



Manuela Leal
Kalashnikov Close-Up, 2007
58 × 78 Inches (4 parts)


I haven't seen this work in person. I saw it on Manuela Leal's RSS feed for her website. Yes, I still actually follow via RSS every artist on ArtCat. I have emailed with her about this series of work in the past, and learned a few things about where these come from.
These are color pencil and spray paint on inkjet prints. The images come from various war-related foreign videos on YouTube. I watch the videos and take stills from the computer screen with a digital camera. I then print the images, have layers of spray paint and then color pencils on top... I have been interested in war images and in "rebuilding" images of war and bombed, decimated buildings and places for a while now...

On YouTube, these videos are often posted as "responses" to other videos, as "justifications" (i.e.: a documentary on Croatian concentration camps will be posted in response to a serbian nationalistic video, and a video of a foreign mujahideen on the side of Bosnians torturing Serbian soldiers will be posted in response to a video on the massacre of Bosnians in Srebrenica by Serbs...).

I recognize that detached from language (they are often in languages I cannot understand), these images of war (and often propaganda) are posted, watched and commented on by people to whom images still carry immense urgency and power - they need to be seen...

I would like to know if" art" could still envision another reality, if by "altering" images one can offer the possibility - even if fictional - of change...


I am captivated by these works! I have to see these videos she mentions. I am wondering if she posts these images (like a slide presentation?) on Youtube as responses to her source material? Is that what she means?

Hi, Mark. She doesn't post videos. What she means is that different "sides" like Croatian and Serbs will post videos about war and atrocities in response to other videos.

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