Dictator pop


Edition "Gaddafi-Style" and "Gaddafi-Style-junior"

Edition 50
Object size 18,7 x 9cm
Embroidery senior 13 x 7,2cm
Embroidery junior 11,3 x 6,2cm

Edition "Gaddafi-Style" and "Gaddafi-Style-junior"



Presentation in Leipzig

Spinnerei Rundgang gallery weekend, 30.4.2011

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Presentation in Leipzig, Video

Spinnerei Rundgang gallery weekend, 30.4.2011

Präsentation Frankfurt

"Lüften- Festival", 22.-24.6.2012

**** Dictator pop! ****

Medals as insignia for merits: by self-staging a dictator, the merits themselves are also staged and the medals can be awarded to oneself.

With the reproduction of Gaddafi’s multi-coloured panels laden with medals and insignia, their most essential purpose is emphasised: to show off. Dictator pop is decoration instead of alleged dignity. With these gaudy embroideries, anyone can make an impression now. There is also a smaller version for the young dictator.


Thanks to the European security zone, some dictators were able to be reduced to pure entertainment value – without any consequences. Their crimes were less the subject of media attention than their sometimes bizarre means of self-presentation.

Journalists seek to reduce things to their mere­ visual appeal in order to cater to the general public’s need for distraction – thus impeding any guilty conscience to arise about omitted indignation (which one wouldn’t really know how it should look like). A general neglect of political sensibilities comes with the flippancy of our demand to be entertained.

Gaddafi gave the world many scenic images of his personal power of disposition. Above all, those showing wealth and sexual omnipotence promoted the secret male desire to adapt and assimilate. But his unconventional defiance at state receptions also spoke from the heart of every narcissist. Who can camp at the Champs-Élysées?


From birth onwards, we love it when others obey our will. And with secret envy, the inner-child dictator later witnesses the possibilities that real dictators abuse in order to exploit land and people to their satisfaction – even if our social code of ethics requires condemning such power and, above all, its abuse.

The desire to appropriate the bling! effect of the reproduced panel of medals and insignia causes a slight feeling of indecency. For if one considers the origin of the medals, then there is an open contradiction to undertake politically correct action. The feeling of indecency reinforces the striving for possession and the attempts at control that naturally lead to conflict. The double bind between desire and defence is typical for a problematic indifference in dealing with power. Wearing the panel of medals and insignia on your jacket makes dictator pop a self-experiment.

- F. Dohmen, A.Neubacher, R.Neukirch, C. Schuldt, A.Ulrich: Mein Freund der Diktator, in: Der Spiegel, 28.2.11, S 22
- J. Jessen: Mit dem Clown kamen die Tränen, in: Die Zeit, 10.3.2011
- E. Follath: Reise in Gaddafis Hirn, in: Der Spiegel, 4.4.11, S. 90
- G. Paoli: Gesamtkunstwerk Gaddafi, Lose Blättersammlung Nr. 4, Schauspiel Leipzig, 6.4.11