Archive for June 23rd, 2010


Text for ‘Missing in Action (dark kenosis)’ by Marcus Bunyan

June 2010


Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.16' 2010


Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.16
Digital photograph



Several people have asked me for some text to help describe the themes that my work investigates, so here goes!

My work has always investigated the spaces and environments that people inhabit. Over the last few years the work has come to focus on fighter aircraft and the people (usually men) who fly them – the reason to fly such war machines, to fight for freedom, democracy, to bomb, to kill – the moral and ethical choices that human beings make, to undertake one action over another.

I have returned to childhood influences: I remember as a kid making toy models by Airfix and Tamiya of tanks and fighter planes and flying the planes from my bedroom ceiling. The work is strongly anti-war. Most of the work features shifts in texture, of light and dark and the occasional use of text to illuminate personal feelings.

Text that is hidden among this particular body of work includes:

  • “The true enemy is war itself” from the anti-war movie Crimson Tide (1995)
  • “The destiny of man is in his own soul” Herodotus (484-420BC)
  • “We are all of us children of earth” Franklin D. Roosevelt: Flag Day Address June 13, 1942

Conceptually the work is based upon an investigation into Foucault’s ‘technologies of the self’ and the paradoxes of such (self) determination:

Technologies of the self (also called care of the self or practices of the self) are what Michel Foucault calls the methods and techniques (“tools”) through which human beings constitute themselves. Foucault argued that we as subjects are perpetually engaged in processes whereby we define and produce our own ethical self-understanding. According to Foucault, technologies of the self are the forms of knowledge and strategies that “permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.”“1

The next series are the same planes with a red colour (red kenosis) and after that I have some silhouette aircraft recognition cards – just the black shapes of the jet fighters – with colours behind, should be a good series!

Dr Marcus Bunyan


Photographs are available from this series for purchase. As a guide, a digital colour 16″ x 20″ costs $1000 plus tracked and insured shipping. For more information please see my store web page.


1. Foucault, M. (1988) “Technologies of the self,” in L. H. Martin, H. Gutman and P. H. Hutton (eds.,). Technologies of the self. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, page 18 quoted on Wikipedia. “Technologies of the Self.” [Online] Cited 23/06/2010.



Marcus Bunyan website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

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June 2010