Skip to content

The Accident, 2018

*

The Accident / 200 x 155 cm / charcoal on canvas / 2018

*

*

Based on the 1787 painting The Injured Mason by Francisco de Goya, two workers carry a third man away from the scaffolding where they have been working together. An accident has apparently left the injured man unconscious or unable to get up himself. Being high up on the scaffolding they are uncertain of how to bring the man into safety, as the wooden platforms are accessible by ladders only. The place looks dangerous itself; the wooden boards are dirty and hold together by wire. Tools and cables are lying around the shoes of the colleagues that have come to the rescue.

This work has developed from the experiences in Dubai (see menu). One important theme in this work is the vulnerability and exploitation of workers. Most of these labourers were young men that prided themselves with sending money home to their families, but they were treated like second class citizens. They slept in special camps outside the city, and worked in the exhausting heat all day. Most work was manual and heavy, and although they performed it with discipline, they were certainly not benefiting much from it. Still, there was a sense of companionship among them, as they had to watch to watch out for each other constantly. It was a little like working in between the miners of Émile Zola`s famous Germinal novel, and it would indeed be interesting to see if conditions like these will ever generate a movement to improve the conditions for workers. 

 *

*

detail of The Accident, 2018

*

*

Scaffolding study / 107 x 79 cm, charcoal on paper, 2018