Martin Firrell
The Hero We've
Been Sold
The media promote a one-dimensional cardboard cutout of a hero: film and television are full of nightmare visions / erotic dreams in which masculinity, sex, domination and violence are conflated.

Complete Hero
offers an alternative, plural definition of heroism, including creative and scientific examples, and reflecting the more sexually equal and multi-cultural nature of British society in the 21st century.

Text, graphics and video interviews were presented onto the 1960s modernist elevations of the Guards' Chapel with sound delivered by wireless headsets to the audience in the concourse by the West Front.

Contributors include serving members of the British Army like the senior female officer, Major Fiona Laws, and Johnson Beharry holder of the Victoria Cross; and civilians from contrasting walks of life where the concept of heroism might be equally but differently applied.

April Ashley MBE contributes her story as one of the first people in the world to have gender confirmation surgery. Ashley's courage and grace in the face of daunting odds are celebrated as acts of contemporary and complete heroism.

Other interviewees include cell biologists Dr Jennifer Rohn and Dr Adam Rutherford; drag performer Miss Understanding; philosopher A C Grayling; novelist Howard Jacobson; writer Adam Nicolson, British muslim comedian Shazia Mirza; and Canadian actor Nathan Fillion who also serves as the face of the project.
Part Of
Complete Hero
Guards' Chapel London UK, 4 to 10 Nov 2009
mp4 video, colour, sound (pending)
Hi-res image
426 images
Artist in Residence with the Household
Division of the British Army