Marcel Dzama – World Gone Wrong

World Gone Wrong

Marcel Dzama

World Gone Wrong

Ink and watercolour on paper


Marcel Dzama’s drawings are distinctive and recognisable, but what fascinates me is how the stories he conveys through imagery can be difficult to decipher.

In World Gone Wrong we are confronted with a scene of colossal violence. Naked and dismembered male bodies hang from trees or at the feet of what appear to be rifled huntsmen. Meanwhile, giant disembodied heads lay grimacing on the ground alongside dying soldiers, while a swarm of bats and red birds swoop overhead.

I feel that Dzama makes no attempt at a specific meaning in this horrific scene. However, the narrative could be read by some of the clues that Dzama has provided, such as the historical clothing of the huntsmen and soldiers. Furthermore, the clothing compares to a time in the 1930’s when the world experienced a huge growth in political fascism and propaganda. The enigmatic uniformed soldiers holding bizarre red flags is reminiscent to the propaganda and costumed ceremony of the Nuremburg Rally, or other such events of Europe’s past.

Dzama has maintained his signature illusive imagery in this drawing, but has applied a political subtext to ground his peculiar piece and provide the viewer with a small foundation on his otherwise strange, cryptic narrative.


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