Visual Artist and Lecturer at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Mark Roemisch is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From his project ‘Broken‘. To see Mark’s body of work click on any image.
The Broken series consists of 16 objects representative of methods or tools of torture identified by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Amnesty International in a list of 27 methods recorded in the years 2013/14.
The selection from this list focused on methods that can be applied solely through the use of everyday objects and places. The images are timestamped with numbers indicating how long a single application of the method approximately lasts.
Detached from any visual contextualization and reduced to the very appearance of these common, inconspicuous objects, each object is presented against a clean, white backdrop, a symbol without signifier. The presentation of this series challenges the viewer to look at these objects first with his or her own associations. A short text plate, provides the context of torture and forces the viewer to take a second look at the objects, which will now materialize in his or her imagination as methods of torture and instruments of pain. Thereby aiming to create an understanding, and consequently awareness, which will lead ultimately to a different, or new level of reflection and empathy.
The series challenges the way we look at everyday objects, examines the creative energy of men and the simple methods through which we torture one another. It also investigates how perception of an object is dependent upon context, as signifiers create the signified.
By Mark Roemisch