Kevin Brand: 19 Boys Running
On March 21 of this year, a funeral procession of a few thousand in the small town of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape turned into a shameful massacre when police opened fire. Funerals of that magnitude had been banned by the police in terms of the Internal Security Act, but the people decided to march anyway, resulting in 20 people being killed and another 27 being injured. During investigation of the incident it was discovered that if the police had had the correct equipment, the gathering could have easily been dispersed with little or no harm to the people involved. Also, it was clear that without the provocation of the police, the procession would have passed peacefully through the town without incident. Most of the people killed or wounded were shot from the rear, and the crowd was already dispersing as people ran away, when most of the shots were fired.
Brand's work is depicting this incident, and his powerful instillation shows 19 figures with anguished, contorted expressions on their faces as they try to escape. However, simple pine boxes replace their legs. Each boy is numbered like a morgue specimen. Brand's figures are made of slightly shaped polystyrene that is covered in brown paper and painted. They are almost two-dimensional images, appearing to be more of a front-page picture than real people.