14th July 2012

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14th July 2012 is an installation which consists of a steel drum, with a video projected onto its suspended lid and the smell of liquid fuel.

The work takes its inspiration from Bastille Day* which the artist observed on the 14th of July, 2012, along the Avenue of Champs-Elysé in Paris; one of the oldest and largest military parades in Europe. Amidst tight security and vigilance, spectators cheered the passing cavalcades which displayed the country’s manufactured munitions and various marching military regiments.

The empty steel drum was acquired in Paris and represents the volatility of human life and the depletion of resources that a society experiences in order to perpetuate conflict. The video displays fragmented images of a military parade with accompanying sounds of the marching bands. The captured footage progressively slows and blurs to finally terminate into a white void. While we observe the details of the weaponry, the audio also gradually slows down and the distorted sounds become reminiscent of bombing. The blurred images reveal an ambiguity and complexity in the relationship between civilians and the military.


The smell of liquid fuel, experienced as part of the installation, replicates the

strong fumes expelled by the tanks and large military vehicles which were part of the parade along the Avenue. The unsettling odor is reminiscent of the smell from machinery on an actual battlefield. Sensorial experiences of the installation are intentionally disruptive and leave the viewer confused and curious. This work brings to question the significance and importance of hosting military parades, as part of a national event in France, or creating other such similar presentations around the world.

14th July 2012 was developed while Coelho was Artist-in-Residence at the Centre International d’Accueil et d’Echanges des Récollets in Paris, France, 2012.

*Bastille Day is the English name given to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14th of July each year. In France it is formally called “La Fête Nationale”; when translated means “The National Celebration”. This event commemorates the 1789 storming of the Bastille prison fortress and is seen as a symbol for the uprising of a modern nation.


Exhibition History
(Group Exhibition)

• 2013 : Le Mai Qui Te Plaît 4, Espace Synethésie, Saint-Denis-France. Curators Anne-Marie Morice & Cécile Bourne-Farrell

Installation with steel drum, liquid fuel and audio/video / Drum dimensions: H 86.5 X Dia 57.5 centimeters
Installation dimensions: H 152 x Dia 57.5 centimeters / Audio/video running time: 9 minutes 53 seconds loop