post editions

Toppleda book by Florian Göttke

from the press Qompendium

Collecting Saddam

Florian Göttke's book is quite an interesting compilation on the destruction of iconic yet politically not accepted art pieces in totalitariam regimes. Hundreds of press and amateur photographs of the toppling of statues of Saddam Hussein were collected by Florian Göttke from the internet and Göttke used his digital archive to create the iconographic project named Toppled.

A close reading of these images reveals an astonishing amount of information about what happened in Iraq, about the statues' desecration and humiliation, their transformation from manifestations of Saddam's totalitarian power into icons for the defeat of his regime, their expulsion from the public sphere, their appropriation into his enemies' museums and their symbolic reinterpretation for use in anti-war protests. The photographs in Toppled show an array of attitudes towards the sculptures that expose differences between the cultures but also universally valid aspects of human relationships with carved representations. It becomes apparent, that even in our modern image culture, the ancient magical link between the person (Saddam) and his representation (statue) is still alive in the human psyche. Florian Göttke (1965 Gelsenkirchen, Germany) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and earned a Master's in Fine Art at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. His work consists of installations, sculpture, photography and video and work in public space.

Florian Göttke's book is published by Post Editions, an independent publisher dedicated to the task of initiating, producing and distributing special books on contemporary art, architecture and photography. It is superbly produced – a must-have and a book that enters the Qompendium Hall of Fame and fullfills the criteria of great content, solid design and good German production.

Qompendium | Feb 10, 2011

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