accounts (details)

Typewriter film carbon on latex, push pins. 40 sheets, 14.5 x 8.5” each (40 sheets, 36.8 x 21.6cm each) Dim. when installed:    16 x 288 x 3” (40.6 x 731.5 x 7.6cm)

I did a small version of this piece originally for an exhibition in conjunction with the Wehrmachtsausstellung at Cooper Union in New York. Forty ledger-sized latex sheets, pinned to the wall with push pins along one edge, hang slack like flags or towels. Latex decomposes over time when exposed to light. Each latex sheet is covered with solid black rows of the imprints of typewriter ribbon. Occasionally a few lines bear legible typewritten text. Viewers are encouraged to lift the loose ends of the sheets and read the texts.

Text and source:
The texts are excerpts from various accounts and diaries of soldiers and officers of the German army and SS during World War II. The accounts are first-hand reports of mass killings. The authors had been either active participants or onlookers. The text is taken from Ernst Willi Dressen and Volker Riess, The Good Old Days, 1991 (originally in German as Schoene Zeiten: Judenmord aus der Sicht der Täter und Gaffer, 1988).