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"A Space War Monument"

Dani Ploeger presents his new work "A Space War Monument", a land art performance commissioned by the Kuwait National Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale on occasion of the 30th anniversary of the end of the Persian Gulf War (1990-91). At this online event, organized by Art Claims Impulse, he will share some insights on the background, context and realization of the work in the Kuwaiti desert.


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Official Trailer:


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The Gulf War has become broadly known as ‘The First Space War’ because of the prominent use of GPS-technology, ‘smart bombs’, stealth aircraft and other advanced technologies by the US military and their allies. However, philosopher Jean Baudrillard has suggested that this understanding of the war as a clean, high-tech affair has been constructed through media representations. Hardly anybody knows what really happened on the battlefield in the Kuwaiti desert, because news reports almost exclusively originated from heavily controlled and redacted press sources embedded with the US military. For this reason, he provocatively stated that ‘the Gulf War has not taken place.’


In this context, A Space War Monument connects the Gulf War’s high-tech dimension to a low-tech aspect of the conflict – the use of bulldozers as assault weapons by the US military – which have remained largely unacknowledged in official narratives. Ploeger commissioned a GPS-controlled bulldozer to erase remaining traces of the war in the Kuwaiti desert. This civilian machine brings together high- and low-tech aspects of the Gulf War, while drawing attention to the cross-contamination of military and civilian technological innovation: After the Gulf War, the bulldozer was the first construction vehicle that was equipped with GPS technology.





Our Values, 2019.

Our values, 2019, courtesy of the artist.


Razor wire, horn loudspeaker, steel, digital video, digital print on paper (140x40cm)
Commissioned by the Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst Berlin.


Our values, 2019, courtesy of the artist.

Our values, 2019, courtesy of the artist.


Razor wire produced by the company European Security Fencing (ESF), based in Malaga in Spain, is used in many newly reinforced outer borders of the European Union, including the Hungarian-Serbian border. The euphemistic and positive-sounding corporate language used on the ESF website – which seems to have been translated with Google Translate – and the possibility to shop for razor wire ‘quickly and safely’ in the online shop stand in strong contrast with the archaic, violent nature of the product on offer.


Our values, 2019, courtesy of the artist.


In OUR VALUES, razor wire purchased from ESF is attached vertically to a metal stand with a horn loudspeaker, similar to the loudspeakers attached to the Hungarian border fence. Through the loudspeaker, the Google Translate voice monotonously speaks the corporate values that are listed on the ESF website. In August 2019, Dani Ploeger installed this object next to the Hungarian border fence, on the Serbian side of the border, outside the European Union.


>We act with professionalism, loyalty and respect for the people.

>We are committed to the job security, trying to inculcate a culture of prevention.

>Pursuing a common goal, we encourage the participation of all information sharing.

>Focusing our efforts in clients satisfaction.

>We conduct studies and promote continuous improvement to achieve the highest quality.

>We work to achieve the aims of the business project.


Our values, 2019, courtesy of the artist.


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