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3,5 million year
old skull

And Where the Hell was Superman?
38,2" x 39,4"
Hardy Ecke
uperman is an indestructible comic book hero of endless skill and power who is called upon for help even in the real world.
Hollywood has made the western world believe that Superman (as a symbol for all unreal world saviors),
John Rambo or John McClane, are able to free hostages from the clutches of terrorism in a one man mission.

In reality these tasks are much more difficult.
The reality bending Hollywood war productions appear to be financed by the military industry and their lobbyists.
Have a look at the shelves in a video shop. You will be surprised by the number of war-related films you find.
Action movies portraying superheros accomplishing these impossibilities are confirming the ridiculous nature of the one man victory.
The same insult that places us writhing on the ground in pain, does not interfere in any way, with the success of these characters vanquishing evil.

I fear that when even two generations have been engrained to believe that they are cradled by a superhero, they begin to believe that this is true.
Though Hollywood smoothly wiped away the line between comics and reality, there is a greater distance between man and a comic drawing than between man and a human actor.
This is demonstrated by the countless real criminal imitators inspired by trashy horror and murder films.
The reality of 9/11 awakened New Yorkers in a rude way from the dream that we are all insulated from terrorism by a great distance.

The attack on America that finally leads to the downfall of the Twin Towers and to the death of more than 3000 people is to be condemned. In what way this attack will be comparable with Pearl Harbor remains to be seen, or maybe not.
The Bush administration enjoyed more approval than opposition through these events. Now his arch enemy Bin Laden has given him a leg up on a second term in office.
What causes me to fix the catastrophe in a painting is not that an attack on the civilized world is surrounded by unanswered questions, but insted that the saviour of the world became too tired to protect America from evil anymore.
Someone must please call Rambo and McClane!
Therefor the cellphone lies on the ground next to our aged hero.
The primate skull symbolizes my favorite metaphor:
Where are we coming from, where are we going?

My Dad, as an amateur actor, previously helped me during my graphic education by wearing a superman costume for my 8 mm film. Once again, he is Superman in this painting. He demonstrates with his wedding ring that Superman could settle down. Did he finally marry Lois Lane?
The puppet on the spring refers to Bush's role as the sheriff of the world.
The UN is paraded as paralyzed and ineffective by the Bush administration. I will never get over the covering of Piccasso's huge "Guernica" tapestry in the U.N. building with a blue fabric so that they could discuss the Iraq war. This is as perverted as it gets.

Are we at the beginning of a post-imperial colonization of those parts of the world who held the last energy resources or will this idea be a failure in any case?

A Chinese government official said before the attack on Iraq:
No single nation should be allowed to police the world!
Might we also say that:
No single Superman could save this world!?

A Rambo and a McClane with all the other Hollywood comics cannot rescue the world because if they cannot reach victory with the brain they cannot succeed with the sword.
Noone can convert the world because we cannot envelope another culture in democracy, assuming this is the only answer. Democracy has had a long and painful develoment.

That this painting has found a home in Washington D.C. is fateful and astonishing.

Captain America
© by Marvel Comics

© by DC Comics