Part of the Artist Reactions Series
Main Exhibition Space, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
6 November 2010 â€“ 6 November 2011
To mark this yearâ€™s Remembrance, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester is exhibiting THE CRUSADER, a unique and specially commissioned artwork by Gerry Judah.
THE CRUSADER has been created in direct response to contemporary global conflict. It reflects on modern day wars but also resonates with the history of world conflict, making it a powerful and thought provoking piece. The sculpture comprises a 7 metre three-dimensional crucifix covered with a lattice of war-torn buildings lacquered in snow white. The setting in the Imperial War Museum North’s landmark building – designed by Daniel Libeskind to represent a globe shattered by conflict – is fitting, given THE CRUSADER’s imposing appearance. Gerry Judah’s work is a reaction to the Imperial War Museum as well as its themes.
THE CRUSADER is the culmination of five years of engagement with conflict in which Gerry Judah has created a series of three-dimensional paintings of urban decimation through conflict, inspired by recent historical events with a particular focus in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is the first and only sculpture in this body of work, which was initially conceived when Judah produced the acclaimed Auschwitz-Birkenau model for the Holocaust Exhibition in the Imperial War Museum, London in 2000.
THE CRUSADER is on exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North from 6 November 2010 for a year. The huge creation is the first exhibit visitors will see on entering the Museum’s Main Exhibition Space. It is placed on the wall above head height at a diagonal angle towards the viewer, who receives the full impact of the towering sculpture – the effect of the cross and the multiplicity of the decimated buildings.
Jim Forrester, Imperial War Museum North Director, said: â€˜THE CRUSADER is a very dramatic sculpture that will provide an emphatic welcome to everyone this Remembrance. It offers an unusual perspective on conflict at a very poignant time of year, showing how war shapes lives.â€™
THE CRUSADER is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Photography: David Barbour