Did You Kiss the Dead Body?
Did you Kiss the Dead Body? makes reference to the last line of Harold Pinter's poem Death, read by Pinter during his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, a speech marked by deep criticism of American foreign policy, and the nature of truth, language and power. Did You Kiss the Dead Body? grows out of a decade long reflection on the nature and social implication of autopsy reports and death certificates emerging from U.S. military bases and prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, first made public on the ACLU's website in 2004 under the Freedom of Information Act. The texts highlight relations of abuse and power through descriptions of anonymous Iraqi and Afghan male prisoners, young and old, that have died in U.S. custody. The reports employ a rational scientific language cataloging the internal and external details of the men's bodies while attempting to determine a cause of death, ranging from "natural" to "undetermined" to "homicide."
For more information on the project and my artist in residence at the ACLU see www.didyoukissthedeadbody.com