Rodrigo Azaola


In July 2016, in Manila, Michael Siaron was shot dead by two people riding a motorcycle. Few minutes later, a photojournalist captured her partner holding his corpse. Because of its dramatism and its accurate reflection of a bloody and illegal campaign against drug users, the image was widely portrayed in the world media as the Filipino “Pietà”.

Based on this photograph, a 2D B&W negative was extracted and reinterpreted as a 3D sculpture. The Triumph of Death over Life is also the name of a 1890 Jose Rizal's clay sculpture, evoking the popular trope of darkness gaining the upper hand.

Since 2015, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's has been waging a “war on drugs” which relies on extrajudicial assassinations of suspected drug traffickers and users. More than 20,000 people have been killed.

This work was developed during a residence at Mabini Projects, Manila, Philippines (2018). 

Installation View. 3D Polylactic Acid plastic print. Dimensions variable.