Iconoclast I (22:00), Charcoal on burned posters, 2012
ICONOCLAST IV, CHARCOAL ON BURNED POSTERS, 2012
Iconoclast VI, Charcoal on burned found posters, 2012
Iconoclast II, charcoal on burned found posters, 2012
Iconoclast VIII, Charcoal on burned found posters, 2012
Negative Aircraft (from the Iconostasis series), charcoal, varnish and Japanese paper on canvas, 2012
Homs (from the Iconostasis series), charcoal, varnish and Japanese paper on canvas, 2012
Negative White Flag (from the Iconostasis series), charcoal, varnish and Japanese paper on canvas, 2012
IKON explores the power invested in iconic images within contemporary culture and society, and consists of three interlinked parts: (1) “Iconoclast”, drawings made with charcoal on burned found posters, (2) “Iconostasis”, a multi-panel installation of drawings made with charcoal, varnish and Japanese paper, and (3) “Icon”, a performance which uses images from drawings and excerpts from speeches by the leaders of several Arab Spring countries.
This project questions uses of signs that blur the boundaries between culture, politics and religion. On May 1, 2012 while hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Istanbul to speak out and demonstrate, Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins created a silent action by removing political statements hung on the city’s walls along with posters of popular culture events. The “Iconoclast” works were created by burning, deforming, and drawing upon these layers of iconic imagery from everyday social and political life, exploring the way certain signs become recycled again and again through different contexts. Highlighting the artist’s role as both image maker and iconoclast who challenges established dogmas and conventions, these drawings were eventually printed as posters and hung as a site-specific installation on the very same walls of the city from which the original material came.