Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s latest publication isn’t a cheerful undertaking, I would go as far as to say it looks the darkest side of humanity square in the eye. Guided by philosopher Adi Ophir’s central tenet that God reveals himself predominantly through catastrophe, and that power structures within the Bible correlate with those within modern systems of governance, the artists have created an exact replica of the King James Bible and inserted photographs from the Archive of Modern Conflict alongside a selection of underlined passages.
The project draws parallels between catastrophic acts of God and modern day state-sponsored violence, yet the meticulous attention to design suggests it’s less about the artists venting their own views on the links between religion, violence and control, and about offering a unique and challenging context to view scenes which provoke moral outrage. In a world where images of war, calamity and destruction dominate modern media, Holy Bible reminds us that the contemporary circus of pain and suffering which plays out in daily news reports can often obscure a real questioning of the deeper roots of human behaviour.
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