Location: Palazzo Delle Papesse, Sienna, Italy
Project Year: 2007
Project Team: Christoph a. Kumpusch, Lorenzo Fusi, Naeem Mohaiemen

Martyrs is an installation and part of “System Error: War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.” 

Built and installed in 2007 at the Palazzo Delle Papesse in Siena, Italy, the edifice served as a commentary on human fragility. Martyrs was designed to be a framework for design as activism and as an essentially human pursuit at the core. The construction follows its own mode and form of advocacy: The four red pillars occupy the ground floor of the Palazzos main hall, their monolithic forms in conversation with the surrounding space. Rigidly bending, the structures evoke the ephemeral: at once vulnerable yet proactive, as if shifted in response to previous action. The process is embodied: the installation itself was highly iterative and transformative from initial conception through installation. Adaptability in this case was not just through the context of the exhibition, or the spatial, physical, and timely limitations; but adaptability was an essential factor in design, planning, and implementation. The monochromatic contrast and collapsing geometry creates a visually intensified setting for the viewers to engage and advocate, in their own ways, through contemplation and experience. In its final form, perforated by bullet-shaped rays of light, the Martyrs glorify human fragility.



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