THE NUMBERSLatest Work / Mixed Media
WOOD PLANKS, SCREW, METAL, SAND, PAINT, COLLAGE, INK, WHITE ACRYLIC PEN ON WOOD
130CM X 100CM
‘The Numbers’ takes the German use of metal tags to track and control what they deemed ‘native’ labour and used in the concentration camps as part of the German administrative machine – sub humans to be worked to death for the greater good. These small round tags had no name and just an allocated number. I feel this is an important part of the story (and has disturbing links to the later murderous Nazi regime). Prisoners were separated into work-able and unwork-able Each camp was ‘efficiently’ administered with records kept and Totenregiters (death registers logging the number).
Each tag is cut from 3mm metal by hand – a process I wanted to undertake as it added for me an important time spend with these objects and thus a respect for the subject matter. Drilled onto wooden planks the cut discs were marked with a metal grinder and left outside to the elements for a number of weeks. This board was then drilled onto a black wooden board. On the top left corner is written in careful script Arbeitsfahige (work-able) and ‘separated ‘on the right Arbeitsunfahige (work-unable).