SHOOTING STARS
  

2014- ongoing

Sasha Huber’s Shooting Stars series is dedicated to victims of gunshot assassinations and killing perpetrated for political, ethnic, ideological or economic reasons.

It portrays historical figures, among them: African-American Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King (1925-1965); leader of the Indian Independence Movement Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948); Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme (1927-1986); and less well-known victims, such as the Brazilian trade union leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes (1944-1988). The series also includes a member of the artist’s own family: ex-army officer Henri Perpignand (1914-1958), who returned to Haiti from exile in Miami in 1958 and was shot during an attempted coup against the dictator François Duvalier.

The series also highlights two resounding tragedies: the politically and ideologically motivated massacre of 77 members of the “Worker's Youth League” in Norway in 2011; and the killing of the young Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati, who was shot during a demonstration in Australia's detention centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, in 2013.

One of the underlying messages of the series is that in the USA African-Americans still live in danger on a daily basis, facing racial profiling by the authorities, security forces, or self-appointed vigilantes, who single-handedly carry out the modern-day equivalent of lynchings.

The ongoing Shooting Stars series includes a portrait of the assassination-attempt survivor Malala Yousafzai (1997-), who in 2014 became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her cause is the age-old, worldwide struggle for equality and for children’s right to education. The portrait also pays homage to those who have accepted perpetual life-threatening danger in order to pursue their cause.

The staple gun that Sasha Huber uses to make her works echoes the gunshots that have rung out again and again when “icons” of the struggle for human rights and justice have been brutally murdered. With her works, Huber asks: What would the world be like if all these people had not been killed? One week before his murder, Thomas Sankara – the socialist revolutionary from Burkina Faso who became “Africa’s Che Guevara” – declared: “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill their ideas.

Like meteors, the men and women that Sasha Huber portrays have flashed, and still flash, across the sky above us, momentarily lighting up the metaphorical darkness of horror and injustice that surrounds us. Like meteors – traditionally wished upon in many cultures – they allow us to formulate our longings and to project our desires. And they leave us wondering whether shooting stars might turn into much-needed guiding stars.

Thank you to Hans Fässler, Hakim Adi, Maria Helena P.T. Machado, Taieb Ingher and Kari Honka.
The exhibition is supported by The Finnish Cultural Foundation.

Video documentation


Portaits of:

Mona Abdinur (1993, Norway–2011, Norway)
Student and Norwegian Worker's Youth League member

Reza Barati (1990, Iran– 2014, Papua New Guinea)
Asylum seeker and Australian detention centre protester on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea

Michael Brown Jr. (1996, USA–2014, USA)
Graduate from Normandy High School, St. Louis

Amílcar Cabral (1924, Portuguese Guinea–1973, Guinea)
Independence leader of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau

Jean Chenet (1918, Haiti–1963, Haiti)
Street muralist and jewelry designer from Port-au-Prince, 
victim of the Tonton Macoute death squads

Berkin Elvan (1999, Turkey–2014, Turkey)
Teenage boy

Diane Fossey (1932, USA–1985, Rwanda)
Zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist

Indira Gandhi (1917, India–1984, India)
3rd Prime Minister of India 1980-1984

Mahatma Gandhi (1869, British Indian Empire–1948, India)
Pre-eminent leader of Indian independence movement in British-ruled India

Ernesto “Che” Guevara (1928, Argentina–1967, Bolivia)
Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist

Dag Hammarskjöld (1905, Sweden–1961, Rhodesia and Nyasaland)
2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations 1953-1961

Martin Luther King (1929, USA–1968, United States)
Pastor, activist, humanitarian and civil rights movement leader

Patrice Lumumba (1925, Belgian Congo–1961, State of Katanga)
Independence leader and first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo

Rosa Luxemburg (1871, Russia–1919, Germany)
Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist

Malcolm X (1925, USA–1965, USA)
Muslim minister, human and civil rights activist

Renisha McBride (1994, USA–2013, USA)
Teenage girl

Dorothy Mae Stang (1931, USA–2005, Brazil)
Member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, environmentalist and Amazon activist

Trayvon Martin (1995, USA–2012, USA)
Teenage boy

Chico Mendes (1944, Brazil–1988, Brazil)
Rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist

Eduardo Mondlane (1920, Mozambique–1969, Tanzania)
Independence leader and president of the Mozambican Liberation Front

Noxolo Nogwaza (1987, South Africa–2011, South Africa)

Lesbian rights activist and member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee

Anna Politkovskaja (1958, USA–2006, Russia)

Journalist, writer, and human rights activist



Olof Palme (1927, Sweden–1986, Sweden)
Social-Democratic politician, Swedish Prime Minister 1982-1986, supporter of third-world liberation movements

Henri Perpignand (1916, Haiti–1958, Haiti)
Army officer under Paul Magloire, 35th President of Haiti, and co-organizer of the 1958 coup d'état against Haitian dictator François Duvalier

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva (1959, Brazil–2011, Brazil)   
Maria do Espirito Santo (1960, Brazil–2011, Brazil)
Conservationists, environmentalists and Amazon activists

Aung San (1915, British Burma–1947, British Burma)
Revolutionary, father of modern-day Burma and Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council of Burma 1946–1947

Augusto César Sandino (1895, Nicaragua–1934, Nicaragua)
Revolutionary and leader of a rebellion 1927-1933 against US military occupation of Nicaragua

Thomas Sankara (1949, French Upper Volta, French West Africa–1987, Burkina Faso)
Socialist revolutionary, pan-African theorist and 5th President of Upper Volta / Burkina Faso

Sandra Lee Scheuer (1949, USA–970, USA)
Student at Kent State University and Anti-Vietnam war protester

Sitting Bull (1831, USA–1890, USA)
Hunkpapa Lakota holy man and leader

Elisabeth Tronnes Lie (1995, Norway–2011, Norway)
Student and Worker's Youth League member, Norway

Malala Yousafzai (1997, Pakistan–)
Activist for female education, assassination attempted in 2012, 
youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient










Shooting Stars installation at Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki, Finland. Photograph by Jussi Tiainen. Artwork photographs below by Kai Kuusisto.

Mona Abdinur (1993, Norway–2011, Norway)
Student and Norwegian Workers Youth League
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Reza Barati (1990, Iran–2014, Papua New Guinea)
Asylum seeker and Australian detention centre protester on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Michael Brown, Jr. (1996, USA–2014, USA)
Graduate from Normandy High School, St. Louis
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Amílcar Cabral (1924, Portuguese Guinea–1973, Guinea)
Independence leader of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929, USA–1968, USA)
Pastor, activist, humanitarian and civil rights movement leader
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Jean Chenet (1918, Haiti–1963, Haiti)
Street muralist and jewelry designer from Port-au-Prince, victim of the Tonton Macoute death squads and artists mothers godfather
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva (1959, Brazil–2011, Brazil)
Maria do Espirito Santo (1960, Brazil–2011, Brazil)
Conservationists, environmentalists and Amazon activists
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
110 x 80 cm 
2014

Berkin Elvan (1999, Turkey–2014, Turkey)
Teenage boy, Taksim Gezi protest bystander
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Patrice Lumumba (1925, Belgian Congo–1961, State of Katanga)
Independence leader and first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Rosa Luxemburg (1871, Russia–1919, Germany)
Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and revolutionary socialist
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Malcolm X (1925, USA–1965, USA)
Muslim minister, human and civil rights activist
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm
2014

Malala Yousafzai (1997, Pakistan–)
Activist for female education, assassination attempted in 2012, 
youngest-ever Nobel Prize recipient
Leaf silver on metal staples and larch wood
80 x 110 cm
2014


Gwen Carr holding her son Eric Garner (1970, USA–2014, USA)
Horticulturist at the New York City Parks
Leaf white gold on metal staples and larch wood
27 x 32 x 4 cm

25.3.–17.9.2017
DNA of Water
Curated by Sasha Dees
Newhouse Centre for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, US