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Susan Seubert 
100 Cheerleaders 
20 x 16 ins (individual plates) 
Provided by the artist - Susan Seubert 
100 individual plates are 20 x16 ins, installed dimensions vary.
"100 Cheerleaders" 2005
This installation of tintype photograms serves as a meditation on torture and the methodology of controlling human behavior.
The title, "100 Cheerleaders," is an ironic reference to the defense in the trial of Charles A. Graner, the convicted Abu Ghraib prison ringleader. Graner's attorney, Mr. Guy Womack, claimed that, "Using naked and hooded detainees to make a human pyramid was much like what cheerleaders all over America do at football gamesāand putting naked prisoners on leashes was much like what parents do with their toddlers." Mr. Womack is also quoted in The Seattle Times as saying, "in Texas we'd lasso them and drag them out of there."
The photographs of the torture victims from Abu Ghraib illustrate many contradictory elements of the War: how the reports have all been very careful to note that the people in the prison were detainees, not prisoners or prisoners of war; how torture, in times of war, becomes easily justifiable for those who engage in it; how, in the absence of finding weapons of mass destruction, the purpose of the War shifted to the rhetoric of the United States as furthering peace and liberation; how responsibility to the Geneva conventions were neatly sidestepped, despite their clear guidelines that expressly prohibit such tactics and, finally, how, as Mr. Graner was quoted as saying, "The Christian in me knows it was wrong, but the corrections officer in me couldn't resist making a man [urinate on] himself."
The installation is intended to provide a place and point to contemplate these contradictions and to be faced with the uneasiness of a confrontation by a person who cannot see the viewer, but holds the viewer accountable nonetheless.
© Susan Seubert 

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