Severe Clear - David Birkin

Severe Clear – David Birkin

In 1946, as part of a famous essay, Orwell wrote that “political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness”. Roughly sixty years after, during the Memorial Day weekend, the words “Existence or nonexistence” suddenly appear in Manhattan sky, quickly captured and uploaded on social media by random witnesses of the events, fascinated by the enigmatic thus metaphysical tone of the slogan.

This mysterious and spectacular appearance is in reality an aerial performance by David Birkin, and the words the one extracted by a letter from CIA that, answering to a request of information on the reserved program of Drones usage by the american government, restrict itself stating not to deny and not to confirm the existence of the requested documents. Orwells’ words may seem thus more prophetic than expected, configuring the artist work as s whole reflection not only on the failure of a concept of truth inside the terrorism war, but also on the tools of language manipulation, unaware element of a progressive process of reality mystification.


Bianca Cavuti

David Birkin, Severe Clear, 2014

©David Birkin 2014, courtesy a/political