In this series Hirschhorn pairs the extreme brutality of war with the world of advertising and commerce. Since the 1980s he has made socially engaged works that confront viewers and implicate them in the creation of meaning, combining images and text from mass culture with everyday materials like cardboard, cellophane, and duct tape in deliberately crude collages. Here he has paired images of war-torn buildings and victims of war with the faces of fashion models, all overlaid with blue ink that appears to stream and seep from the figures like tears or blood. The work's title, Provide Ruins, mimics the names the military and the media bestowed on war operations, such as Desert Shield and Restore Hope.
Gallery label from Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, April 22, 2009–January 4, 2010.