The “Sacred Defense” project documents the construction of fake war images in Iran and creates new war-related simulacra in digitally amended satellite images of Iranian nuclear sites.

Images make us believe we see the war. We are looking at illusions, however.

We follow how the war simulacra of political importance are being constructed within different places. Cinema city, constructed only for the purpose of shooting war movies, is a self-referencing space, created not to be experienced itself, but to become an image of war. Museums mimic wartime reality in the smallest detail: wax figures of fallen martyrs allow the viewers to meet dead heroes again while plastic replicas of antipersonnel mines are sold as souvenirs.

From a play between a copy and the original, the author leads us to the point where he creates new simulation. He amends satellite images of the Iranian nuclear installations with mutually exclusive versions of destruction, which may be caused by a Western strike. Buildings destroyed in some images stand intact in others and all parallel versions of the same event are presented on a single satellite map.

—Wawrzyniec Kolbusz


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