Ben Perrone (b. 1933), Illusion/Delusion, 2009; black paper bags and monofilament, 252 x 252 x 252 inches; Purchased with funds from Annette Cravens, James and Gloria Paul, Roberta and Roger Dayer, Michael and Anne Genco, 2009
Ben Perrone’s installation, Illusion/Delusion, is a tribute to the Servicemen and Women who died in Iraq. The massive 26 foot tall installation communicates the enormity and impact of war. An inverted pyramid constructed of black bags evokes the burial places of kings married to the iconic representations deceased soldiers returning home. The inverted temple is both a remembrance and a statement of protest against the unnecessary loss of lives.
The sculpture is made up of 4300 black bags, each representing a member of the United States Armed Forces who lost his or her life in Operation Iraqi Freedom as of 2009, when the work was created. The exhibition Ben Perrone: Illusion/Delusion, on view from July 12, 2013 to January 2, 2014, was first time that the work was installed in a gallery after having been acquired by the Burchfield Penney Art Center in 2009.