Dusan Kochol – Self-portrait with the Hammer of Annunciation
Nearly a half century ago a thirty-three year old man in a state of Delirio Profetico attacked Michelangelo's statue of deceased Jesus lying in the arms of his mother. He dealt fifteen devastating hammer blows to the iconic sculpture, claiming that he was the new Messiah. The Renaissance Pieta suffered serious damages, among others a detached nose, a piece of Carrara marble that has never been found. I identify the St. Peter's Basilica incident with a certain characteristic pattern of behaviour that usually accompanies the emergence of new leaders. At the same time it is important to me to offer an open criticism to the establishment of power through fear – often under the pretext of the declaration of the real truth. The project is a parody of the ego of self-appointed saviours, who in return for loyalty usually do not offer more than a shaming of the ego of prior saviours. Being the same age as both male figures, I present an observed model of self-centred annunciation, becoming yet another embodiment of the martyr defeated by visions of the new world, in which he is the lord. In the meantime the pleb cannot see beyond the end of his nose, because the Messiah snubbed it off, just as his predecessor had done to him.
Dusan Kochol, is the founder and director of the OFF Festival in Bratislava, photographer and curator. He graduated in Promotional Art Design from the School of Applied Arts, attended photography courses at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and London College of Fashion and completed his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University in Czech Republic. His projects were exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and in 2016 he recieved the Photographer of the Year award for the significant contribution to the quality, development and promotion of Slovak photography at home and abroad.