Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. Kill our Icons proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.
The liquidity of the digital image culture causes (new) images with iconic potential, or of monumental power of expression, to not take root anymore. We rather play a movie clip, in which a tsunami’s destructive power occurs, than look at a hundred photographic still lifes showing its devastating results. Whereas previously news service presented itself with some sort of authority, nowadays it comes down to a globalized, internetbased, do-it-yourself menu.
We must ask ourselves how tenable the static and archaic icons in our collective memory still are. The time is now that we free the visual beacons of the past, once acting as monopolists in giving guidance to the way history could be understood, from their iconic hold on us.
Kill our Icons prioritises those (alternative) images that, in spite of their apparent triviality and inferior aesthetics, know how to divert the committed spectator away from the hard news and take him to a meaningful vista on different aspects of the underlying story. It would fit our times if they may contribute, in retrospect, to a critical reconfiguring of our visual memory.