The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani)

2015, edition 1/5 + 2AP (set), woodblock print on japanese paper 41 × 33 cm (paper), 43 × 34.5 cm (frame), installation ø 3 m

In the far section of the exhibition Utzni presents a work in direct response to a visit to the Basilica di Santo Stefano Rotondo al Celio in Rome; it deals with the question of a picture’s effect, among other things. Remembering the atrocities presented there, the artist poses the question whether current images with comparable content exist today. Especially when, for instance, Islamic State has for some time demonstratively and terrifyingly flooded the media landscape with equally gruesome images of hostages who are to be beheaded or have already been killed. Sebastian Utzni presents the results of his research in the work The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani). Whether it be boiling in oil, abandonment to be eaten by wild animals or burning alive, within a short time online Sebastian Utzni found contemporary imagery according with each of the methods of killing illustrated in the church. The artist exposed himself to the contemporary reality of horrific killing and, subsequently, developed a cycle consisting of thirty wood-block prints of the subjects of these images, abstracted to the point at which they are not all recognisable. In the upper section of each woodcut the factual term for each method of killing provides a title, while the lower section is decorated with the quote from the bible used in the Roman counterpart. The thirty woodcuts are printed all the colours of the rainbow, from bright, almost garish yellow, through green to dark red. Hanging freely in the space in two concentric circles, the images pointed towards the centre – both a teaching aid and a monument – Sebastian Utzni arranges the atrocities in a manner analogous with the earlier church presentation. The viewer must step into the circle in order to look at the images in detail, exposing themselves to the horror. The significant degree of abstraction does not diminish the brutality of what is displayed despite, or maybe even due to, its presentation in the medium of woodcut. A tumult of questions arises concerning the sense or senselessness of this violence, or the development and progress of so-called civilized humanity.

Kunsthaus Grenchen catalogue text

Photos © by Alexandra Roth.

Sebastian Utzni
The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani)

http://www.sebastianutzni.com/cms/files/projects/the-martyrdom-cycle/Sebastian-Utzni-027_web.jpg

The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani), 2015, edition 1/5 + 2AP (set), woodblock print on japanese paper, 41 × 33 cm (paper), 43 × 34.5 cm (frame), installation ø 3 m

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Fig. 1 to behead s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 2 to crucify s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 3 to bury s.o. alive, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 4 to flog s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 5 to boil s.o. in hot oil, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 6 to bomb a house, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 7 to throw s.o. in front of a lion, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 8 to waterboard, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 9 to fire rockets at a town, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 10 to execute s.o. in a stadium, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig 11. to throw s.o. in front of a metallic beast, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 12 to throw s.o. into a well, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 13 to set s.o. on fire, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 14 to cut off s.o.'s breasts, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 15 to drag s.o. through the streets, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 16 to throw s.o. into a river, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 17 to shoot down an airplane, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 17 to cut off s.o.'s hand, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 19 to shoot s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 20 to burn a witch, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 21 to beat s.o. to death, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 22 to drown s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 23 to hang s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 24 to shoot arrows at s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 25 to run s.o. over, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 26 to cut s.o. into pieces, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 27 to squash s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 28 to stab s.o., 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig. 29 to sink a ship, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm

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Fig 30 to tear s.o. up with a suicide attack, 2015, The Martyrdom Cycle (30 possibilities to kill a man after Circignani) Ed. 5 + 2 AP, Holzschnitt auf Japanpapier, 41 × 33 cm