'Battle of Berlin 1945', 2011, C-print, 280 x 380 cm. Installation view at RijksakademieOPEN 2011. Composite of 23 Soviet maps and charts of the battle of Berlin, 1945
'Depictions of Berlin 1939-1945', 2011, 430 x 300 cm. Installation view at RijkssakademieOPEN 2011. Composite of 48 Allied and German maps and charts of Berlin.
'Madonna of Nagasaki, Defacement 9 August 1945', 2010, C-print, 28 x 39 cm
In the morning of 9 August 1945, the B-29 Superfortress ‘Bock’s Car’ flies over the city of Kokura. This city is the primary target of ‘Fat Man’, the second American atomic bomb. Fat Man contains a plutonium core, which is more powerful than the uranium core of ‘Little Boy’, the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima three days before. ‘Bock’s Car’ circles above Kokura for 45 minutes, because a layer of clouds prohibits the bombardment. Having crossed the city three times without finding an opening, pilot Charles W. Sweeney diverts to Nagasaki, only to find it obscured as well. But at 11:00 the clouds break open and the bombardier can visually target Nagasaki. By that time, the plane is running out of fuel, so Sweeney decides to drop the bomb almost immediately. Fat Man explodes more than 2.5 kilometers from the projected hypocenter, right above Urikami Cathedral, then the biggest Catholic church in Southeast Asia. Among the estimated 40,000 to 75,000 casualties are 8,500 of Nagasaki’s 12,000 parishioners, who constituted the largest concentration of baptized Christians in Japan at that time. Two months later, a Japanese Catholic priest discharged from military service visits the ruins of the cathedral. After an hour of praying and looking for a memento, he notices the scorched head of the Madonna lying in the debris.
'Polish Military Map', 135 x 80 cm
Map showing Polish military maneuvers as part of a Warschau Pact invasion plan. The projected invasion of Western Europe involved the atomic bombing of several cities (marked by red bombs on the map), followed by massive troop movements towards the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Polish soldiers would serve as cannon fodder, marching into contaminated territory. Army leadership estimated that radiation sickness would render them incapable about seven days into the war, at which point fresh Soviet troops from Ukraine and Belarus would take over. Wojciech W. Jaruzelski, Poland’s communist Minister of Defense, signed the map in 1970. At that time, the US had 3,900 nuclear warheads and the USSR had 3,100. Jaruzelski was elected prime minister in 1981. In 2005, the anti-communist government of Poland ordered the Polish Institute for National Remembrance (IPN) to open the country’s controversial Warschau Pact archives to historians. This decision ran counter to the Russian government’s policy of keeping these archives closed.
Access to the map for the purpose of taking photographs was requested repeatedly, but the IPN formally denied it. However, after two and a half years of bureaucratic hassle, an IPN historian unexpectedly answered a telephone call and sent photographs of the map that he had made during a press conference of the Polish Minister of Defense in 2006. These pictures were then combined into a reconstruction of the original map.
This composition stems from the historian’s choice of photographing only certain segments of the map.