‘Enemy’ is the artwork created to explore the question of ‘What makes an enemy’.
It is a journey to understand the complexity of our prejudice and the reasons with which one convinces themselves whilst calling someone an enemy. And as the reasons start becoming obvious, the slightest change in any of the layers presents itself with many other very different reasons contradicting or supporting the previous explanation.
The artwork with its four characters is a play of their changing roles and positions, making their actions in the piece more and more unexpected and difficult to understand, thus blurring the lines of rights and wrongs in this fight. Many mysteries are unfolded with a closer look at the details of each layer indicating the many things happening at the moment that might not be visible immediately.
So the work is not an answer but an attempt of creating a place to understand the question and hence the term ‘Enemy’
Secrets/ hidden details about ‘Enemy’ discussed at the end of the article
The work is a play of layers and their titles- a role assigned and the actions made. It is a scene on its own, and also a continued story with changing elements.
One scene, by changing layers one after other, could be taken as -
what if this happens,
or maybe as what happened after,
or maybe as a solution you are providing for the question in the art
Every combination justifies the act, and every combination also denies that justification. In simple words, it is a journey of asking questions that might lead to so many contradicting answers.
Then what we gained?
Maybe a belief that there is always more to what we see, what we can understand, and what it is like being in different shoes.
I will talk about each layer in detail now and their significance in ‘Enemy’.
The sky representing the intense uncertainty and tension of the scene giving a feel of battle going on within the artwork. This layer has 5 states.
The two Homes of the piece are symbolic of the creation that is followed by destruction.
There are homes built on the homes of others.
Life existing at the cost of someone else’s life.
The question of who is the owner and who is the intruder. A scene of reclaiming what is believed to be our own.
The structure of all the states is similar and yet differs in the state they exist right now. As a play of layers, when all the situations remain the same but home changes, it shows the consequences. But when home remains the same, and other layers change, it shows the victory of someone over others.
When you see it, do you assume as one home belonging to one kind? Or one that looks like being captured and doesn’t belong?
What makes you assume it?
What wars cost?
Is that throne any good if it results in these many losses
Is it worth it?
Sacrificed and Defeated
Both are dead. No matter what role they had. Yet they are represented differently. Sacrificed have their heads exploded, symbolizing the pain and suffering of being fed with the lies and false justice in their brain by themselves or by others. It could be exhausting to consume thoughts and ideas of hatred, to live in a world where you have to fight all your life.
Whereas defeated have smiles on their face. Why? Maybe because they finally could get rid of the mask they had to wear, lies told to perhaps convince themselves with something they could easily live with.
But why are these layers separated?
To let layers owner make choices, to have a place where both defeated and sacrificed belong to one group, and sometimes to different groups. To see when the ‘sacrificed’ died for someone who belonged to another group and ‘defeated’ killed by the same group.
It is simple if we want it to be but complicated if we think more of it. There are no rights or wrongs. When I use the word group, it doesn’t even exist but is just an assumption made by you right now.
This layer is the play on what we see might not be what is true. The scene looks as if a Ruler is controlling all the people. But when you notice this layer, they are the ones who have assigned control to their Rulers. They are wearing masks, but you don’t see any expression on their face.
So which layer gives that smile to them?
They are those who become an audience to the show.
-Some feel sad but are forced to witness the massacre, as shown by the hands and tears
-some are curious to witness despite being pulled back
-and some just turn blind with whatever happens around.
Are they wrong?
What could someone do when powerless?
What makes someone wrong and someone right?
Would their actions change anything anyway?
The book consists of the history and its interpretation throughout time.
The first book is closed but someone in the piece has the keys.
Sometimes the access to the book is the reason for the conflict and sometimes not having the access is. Who possesses the keys to the locked book or the knowledge to interpret it accurately? Is it the truth some might fear?
The interpretation is changed according to convenience, is told in a way that makes someone feel better, that shows a wrong side perhaps. So are we all puppets of our history and how it is conveyed.
What if the reasons for the fight are based on the ideologies one believes in, the self-constructed group they are told to be belonging to. Does going against that makes someone an enemy?
When you see a layer of one clan, and all the sacrificed and attackers wearing a locket of the same or different groups, what does it make you think?
But what happens when there are no clans?
Does the history book show any? Why is there a combined sign of all clans on the ground?
What if the fight is about breaking the division on that basis. Who is wrong here then?
Someone who gets to make the tough choices of making someone an enemy. With many trusting him with their life, he decides whether something should be considered a threat or not.
The one, responsible to save his people and provide confidence and safety to his and everyone’s home.
It is worth noticing that the smile on the faces is attached to his layer. Thus symbolizing that he is the reason for many smiles.
Being put in the most hated position and living with so many guilts his whole life, is he wrong for what he does?
Is it a person or the situation that’s wrong?
He too wears a mask of all the lies that he must believe in.
Is that the cost of being a Ruler?
Now, this sword might not show anything on its own, but when put in the whole scene it depicts a truth, a big reason for what is wrong going on.
Its position is downwards thus depicting an end of the fight.
Enemy and Friend of Enemy
This is a very sweet and supportive relationship showed. the torn bunny shows a recent fight that just turned into friendship and support because that was needed at that time.
A very conflicting portrayal of what the whole scene shows. No matter who takes the role of what, it is what memories we shared that’s important.
Maybe when there is a bigger threat, many come together forgetting their own fights. Then why was there a fight earlier when it wasn’t as significant.
Questions and questions
The changing layers having different roles but similar characters show how insignificant being different is.
The possibility for an owner to decide who gets that role shows, it’s us who make all that chaos. It is us with the power to do that, who creates the situation we are in.
It is us deciding the page to be told. it is all in our power to change.
Which power do you wish to explore?
Would you create a simple scene or a complicated one to question and explore?
Would you change roles every time to move the story as what happens next? Would you make it a story of revenge or a commentary on our society? A fantasy or realism?
The key of the closed book (history) will always be in hands of the ‘enemy and her friend’. The pattern on the cover is similar to that on the floor and also one of the states of a clan layer. The book cover shows a mother and kid symbolizing love, contradicting the theme.
I have used layers to show what belongs to whom, which might look opposite in the master.
The brain control belongs to the Attacker layer in reality.
So maybe it looks like they are controlled by Ruler, but the truth is, it’s them controlling/influencing the Ruler (and his decisions)
Though all faces have a smile (except king’s), wonder what’s the source. The respective layers have blank faces but it’s King’s layer that brings a smile to every face. There is no way of knowing this in master except if you watched the trailer of ‘Enemy’
Reveal 4 (last from my side)
There is only one element that differentiates Enemy and her friend from the whole scene. The sword of truth shows it.
Answer- It is them not wearing any mask. Being real to themselves and not being influenced by the external world.
It is bravery and courage.
Hope you enjoyed exploring this piece.