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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - De ergste vijand ben jezelf : de identificatie van dader en slachtoffer in het werk van Armando : research article
The worst enemy will be yourself : the identification of victim and perpetrator in Armando's literary work
When the work of the Dutch painter / sculptor / poet / author / musician Armando is discussed, the same questions often occur. What do paintings with strange titles like "Peinture Criminelle" and "Paysage Criminelle" refer to? What horrible subjects does he write about? How can a painting or a landscape be criminal? What is "a guilty landscape"? Is this an artist who is interested in eulogising violence, is this an aesthetisation of evil?
The same questions will come to the fore again when viewing Armando's short film "Der Feldzug" (The Campaign) : scenes of firing tanks, explosions, a railway being blown up, Waffen-SS soldiers looking for cover in muddy riverbanks. To make matters worse, almost all scenes are taken from "Die Wochenschau" (The Week in Pictures), the German bioscope magazine, which was controlled by Joseph Goebbels' Ministry of Propaganda. The film is almost completely in slow-motion and takes place in arcadian settings of waving trees and wide, steppe-like landscapes. The entire experience of this film has the effect of an immersion in violence, an almost perverse obsession with war and destruction.
In this article it is argued that in Armando's work the traditional binary opposition between victim and perpetrator is cancelled and replaced by a seamless transition from the one to the other : perpetrator and victim become one, forever bound to one another by the same event.
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