Peter Lyssiotis
1948 Cyprus
This is War (2011)

This Is War asks that question: Democracy? At what price? If we defend democracy with guns – or, does it deserve to be called democracy? If we export democracy in a shopping bag full of conditions and limitations and obligations and deliver it under armed guard does that justify all the deals?
Churchill’s dictum that democracy is the worst system of government apart from all the others that have been tried, opens up the whole concept of a Hollywood Democracy.
This is War depicts a version of some of the conflicts Australia has involved itself in, in the name of Democracy.
In a democracy we know that in the end everything will be OK, don’t we? What do “fledgling democracies” learn from shopping bag (& armed guard which we leave on its doorstep?)
As the sermons we hear coming out of the mouths of the leaders of democracies, become longer and longer, the intentions of democracy become less clear. But perhaps it all ends at the point where Claude Levi Strauss said, “The world began without man and will end without him.” Can the true era of democracy begin at that time.
Produced for exhibition Lessons in History Vol II held at grahame galleries + editions in 2012. 22.5 x 15cm. Edition of 18.

Grahame, Noreen (ed.) 2012, Lessons in History Vol. II: Democracy, numero uno publications, grahame galleries + editions. pp. 46-7 (illustrated).

Collection: Centre for the Artist Book, grahame galleries + editions