Guantanamo / A Tribute to the Military Genius of General Foch
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This work was originally entitled: “A Tribute to the Military Genius of General Foch”. A sarcastic reference to this WW1 general’s military doctrine of: "pursuing a forceful offensive under all circumstances."
This forceful offensive was responsible for the atrocious casualties suffered during much of the 1st World War, and also lead to the horrendous treatment of the troops who hesitated to willingly throw themselves to their death. Most of these men who refused to "go over the top" to their deaths were unjustly shot for desertion, mutiny, cowardice and other breaches of discipline, even if the behaviour was the result of mental affections.
The unjust execution of these men became the terrible truth denied by the military and represents the pose chosen for the sculpture; a young man tied to a post and then shot.
However, this title referring to the incompetent leader Foch, was too long and no one I spoke to other than some of my French friends knew who Foch was. Further, they were confused as the French consider Foch a hero rather than one of the greatest murderers in history. As a result, I chose to call the work “Guantanamo” as the title referred to a modern example of the shameful, unethical, illegal and unnecessary treatment of persons by military leaders.
In total British court martials had 306 soldiers executed. Among them were 25 Canadians, 22 Irishmen and 5 New-Zealanders.