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The Speed of Violence, poliptych, 2011. Stills extracted from 16 mm film. Ultrachrome pigment on Hahnemühle archival paper. 

"The beautiful is just the first degree of the terrible"

Rainer Maria Rilke

How is form affected by the impulse and velocity in the gesture of aggression?

Looking at combat frame by frame, The Speed of Violence exposes the deformations – at once beautiful and horrifying – that occur on the subject as it is captured on celluloid over time, inviting reflection on our inherent attraction to, and terror of, human violence.


The Speed of Violence takes the visceral fight that opens Body of War, and breaks it down to reveal each still frame long enough for us to lose the illusion of continuous temporality through motion. In this way, the film further dissects the impulse, action and aftermath of the act of killing. The shifts in and out of form produce a sense of defamiliarisation that results in the figuration of monstrosity. The images preserve the grain of the S16mm negative. This enhances the pictorial qualities of the brushing movements across the screen, while reminding us – together with the fragments of black inserted where the edit points would be in the referent film – of the image-making apparatus. Refused the comfort of immersion, we are compelled to remain awake to the realities of war.




19 min, HD, Spain/ UK.

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