Decoding Dictatorial Statues is a collection of images and texts revolving around the different statues that behave in public space. How can we decode statues the agency of their sculptured body language and their sociopolitical role as relational objects and media icons?
Coupling a designer's perspective with an analytical approach, Ted Hyunhak Yoon explores the cliched poses of dictatorial statues. In his image analysis, he lays out a choreography of these sculptures and uncovers the non-verbal rhetorics that shaped them. In the visual framing opened up by Hyunhak Yoon's image research, readers can zoom in and out of the various narratives on offer.
In addition to these visual narratives, the authors - acting as a group of decoders - contribute a wide range of perspectives on the subject. It's statues from different eras, located in different parts of the world, that form, the starting point for these precise dissections. For instance, what links an outbreak of cultural vandalism against a 200-year-old Vietnamese devotional subject with the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in 2011? Why would a recently liberated African country opt for a North Korean company to tell its history? How dan we define historical value in regards to the removal of colonial monuments in South-Africa, The Netherlands, and the United States?
Responding to current debates on the representation of the historical canon, these expert's perspectives and Ted Hyunhak Yoon's visual framework address urgent concerns about the depiction and representation of heritage and our future leaders. By asking us to consider the visual language of the statues itself, this project offers a living understanding of a supposedly long-gone symbolic order and a pathway to a more cross-cultural and historic comprehension.
Texts by: Erika Doss, Leonor Faber-Jonker, Florian Göttke, Jintaeg Jang, Jo-Lene Ong, Martijn Wallage, Karwan Fatah-Black, Fabienne Rachmadiev, J.R. Jenkins, Tycho van der Hoog.
Editor(s): Bernke Klein Zandvoort, Ted Hyunhak Yoon
Design: Ted Hyunhak Yoon
Dimensions: 6.69 x 9.44 in.