Remains of war

Published: Sunday 15 November 2009

WAR • Australia/AfghanistanLooking for out-of-theordinary art work. If you can fork out US $1.2 billion, a Used Car Part From Afghanistan could be yours. Australian artist Van Thanh Rudd’s work, on display at Off The Kerb gallery in Melbourne, is entering uncharted territory with his asking price. Rudd claims the work contains a small piece of an Afghan civilian car, destroyed by an International Security Assistance Force missile in southern Afghanistan. “All art must be priced and the price paid by victims of war is astronomical,” he said. Rudd says he examined the pricing strategies of the elite auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, but decided his work should be priced more realistically. Rudd says his pricing analysis included a breakdown of the multi-trillion dollar US war budget in West Asia since 2001, and other variables like the cost of wounded civilians and soldiers; proceeds will go to Afganistan’s war victims.

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