Through the project “Did You Kiss the Dead Body?,” Kahlon transforms documents made publicly available by the ACLU as the Torture Database, including death certificates and autopsy reports issued by the US military of Iraqi and Afghan men who had been killed while in American detention centers overseas. Together with the marbled contemporary documents, the European anatomical illustrations provide a second and simultaneous view of the inner and outer body and create another circuit of meaning beyond that of scientific rationality through the endless referential loop between the text and the image. In these works, Kahlon augments the secular archive with alternate forms of remembrance and mourning in order to make the fact of these incarcerations and deaths gain greater significance in our cultural memory.
Rajkamal Kahlon; Did You Kiss the Dead Body?: Visualizing Absence in the Archive of War. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2014; 34 (2): 336–363. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-2773887
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