Seeking Solace in the 21st Century
Can Superman save us from the deadly pestilence of COVID 19?
The use of icons shows us what is revered or idolized by a society. Photographer, Kamal, creates photographic works that illustrate people in Montreal responding to the COVID 19 pandemic after authorities mandated that people must wear masks to protect themselves and others from the illness. The photographs show that people were complying. At one location, the image of Superman, created by artist Sandra Chevier, provided a perfect backdrop for Kamal to record a period of time which will not be forgotten. Archaeologists indicate people reach out for a higher being or a superpower to provide security and comfort when facing situations of crisis. Seeking this comfort from divine and superpower images marks humankind’s awe of the unknown. The icons used by people change with the time and crisis. In the 16th century, artists used religious symbols such as those employed by El Greco in his ”Christ Carrying the Cross”. In 2020, the changing world has brought people a health pandemic. People are using new symbols when looking for comfort and strength against possible affliction and misery. Kamal has captured the people and the new symbols in his photographs. The solace provided by the masks and the image of Superman shows the 21st century to be a mixture of beliefs. Western society provides messages that people can be saved by science or by a Superpower.
Will Superman be the victor?
Author - Charalee Graydon