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A reconfigured vestige of Apollo wears an expression of malign indifference: a reminder of the inherent contradictions and dishonesty of European colonial enterprise. The imagined Eurocentric historical lineage that framed Western empires of the Enlightenment as benevolent, natural and exclusive heirs of Hellenic ideals of liberty and rationalism ushered in a global, ongoing age of industrialised exploitation and seizure of land, resources and labour.
Rather than representing rational, ordered and self-disciplined aspects of human nature, this painting reimagines Apollo from the perspective of those excluded from that lineage: as a monstrous, prophetic forebear of European dominion over the rest of the world.
Abdul Abdullah, 2017