martin firrell

all men are dangerous

february 2006

tate britain london

10 images
artwork
text

All Men Are Dangerous was commissioned by Amy Lamé and Duckie! for Tate Britain. Text and graphics were projected onto both walls of the Duveen Gallery on 3 February 2006 investigating evidence for the connection between war, belief and masculinity.

The work was made against the backdrop of two major conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There was widespread sentiment that these wars were, in fact, essentially colonial in motivation and illegal according to international law.

All Men Are Dangerous reflected on the importance of differentiating between similar sounding ideas like 'security' and 'liberty', particularly in fear-filled and politically volatile times.

Popular comment of the period suggested that Western populations should be prepared to sacrifice some liberties in return for greater security.

This line of thinking seems more in the interests of governments than the populations they serve; there is no evidence that the sacrifice of one aspect of civil life leads to the attainment of the other.

All Men Are Dangerous included text backed by graphic strobing lines and imagery from world religions including a bronze Thai buddha and an Arabic prayer for peace transcribed from a prayer-jar in the collection of the British Museum.

The project overall set a new record for a Late-at-Tate with the highest ever number of participants: more than 5,000 people engaged with questions about faith, war, masculinity, and the associated costs to society.