To serve

Dutch artist Anno Dijkstra was asked by the city of Poperinge and vzw Kunst to develop a work around "executions during the First World War".

Dijkstra departs from the memorial in the Grote Markt.A soldier on a pedestal. Heroically, he raises his arm in the air. It is beyond doubt who is the winner and who is the loser, who is cowardly or who is a hero.

In my imagination, I gently tilt the monument. It is now lying on its back. The underside of the plinth is a giant black hole. Can I see into its head? 

The darkness is unfathomable. The reclining plinth looks like a funnel. Through the funnel, the present creeps in. Or is the past calling to us? Do we hear the enthusiasm of the first weeks of war, nostalgia, pride, doubt, the rattle of dying or cries of victory? Or do we mostly hear murmurs? Like an empty shell, murmurs of our own blood?

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