Simon O'Corra: Theatre of War 4: The Divas Battle (Few men wanted to take part as female artistes in POW Theatre Groups, but competition for this that did was tough)
We live in a world of forgetfulness, where facts are often manipulated, downgraded, misplaced, and forgotten.
The abuse of history in particular, is as much alive today as it has ever been. Many say that history is written be the victors, but it would probably be more exact to say that history is written by those who profit most from their version of history.
Interpretation and reinterpretation of the past has always been fair game, endlessly used by those who have contemporary agendas they wish to legitimise by laying their hooks in the past.
Simon O'Corra: Theatre of War 5: The Little Cafe (Torture paradoxically alongside entertainment)
Simon O'Corra: Theatre of War 1: A Review (The savagery of some POW camps in WW1 juxtaposed with the delights of the camp’s theatre group)
Because the past has been made fluid and endlessly interpretable by the present, how can it ever be trusted? How can we ever see what is really there?
One way is through the conduit of the artist. True, artists may not always seem to be the most reliable informants of the past, they are seen by many to be purveyors of fantasy and half-truths, of tricks and illusion. However, artists are also often at the forefront of social awareness.
To have a social understanding, as many artists do, is to have a social conscience, a social empathy, a heightened social awareness. One of the artists that has an extremely well defined social understanding is Simon O'Corra.
Simon O'Corra: Why? 5: The Broom (The sexual sadism of the Nazis is expressed here)
Simon O'corra: Why? 2: I Am Ready Lord (A true story of a priest beaten to death because he was priest and was gay too)
Much of Simon's artwork revolves around the phenomenon that is war, a phenomenon that has been with us for as long as we have been aware, and that is far too long.
Simon deals very much with the aggressive unrelenting brutality of war and the situations of war.
What does total war do to societies, what does it do to communities, and perhaps more importantly, what does it do to the individual? How does an individual change? How do they live with the immense warps and stretches that assault the character of the individual?
Simon O'Corra: Why? 7: Sound Torture (Image of a terrible form of torture imposed upon someone who was a variety performer in more permissive times)
Simon O'Corra: Why? 8: Scalding and Freezing (Another sadistic attack on a gay man in the camp)
Simon doesn't pull any punches. He is more than ready to explore the many different avenues of war on the individual. His work covers wounds inflicted on the individual, wounds inflicted by others, both physical and psychological. His work covers the destruction of liberty of the individual, and how others take advantage of that lack of liberty. He covers both casual and endemic brutality to minorities caught up in conflict and 'ethnic cleansing'.
As a gay man and artist Simon is particularly interested in revelations concerning gay men during war situations, how gay men were systematically marginalised, penalised in some wars, brutally rounded up and obliterated in others.
Simon O'Corra: Realities of War 4: Hole-y War (The horror of losing part of one’s face in war)
Simon O'Corra: Realities of War 6: The Frustrations of the Gourmand (The effect that the damage done by war had on a gourmand and lothario)
Underlying the brutality and futility of war, Simon recognises what he believes are the continuing root causes and prolongation of the concept of war.
Simon is firmly in the belief that wars are vehicles of profit, that wars are engineered by those who have most to gain from those wars, and until that link is broken, wars will continue and some people will continue to profit from them, and in that he is absolutely right.
Simon O'Corra: Realities of War 5: Your Country Needs You (A play on the famous Lord Kitchener posters showing the truth behind all that patriotism)