Daniel Heyman
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Multiple Interpretations at the New York Public Library

FALL 2007

Humanities and Social Sciences Library > Collections > Print Collection > Multiple Interpretations

Artists: H–Z

Daniel Heyman (American, born 1963)
The Amman Project
Portfolio of eight drypoints
Philadelphia: published by the artist, 2006
Printed by Cindi Ettinger at C. R. Ettinger Studio, Philadelphia
Kennedy Fund

In March 2006, in Amman, Jordan, Daniel Heyman joined a team of lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights and Susan Burke from the Burke O’Neil law firm; a journalist; and a portrait photographer to record interviews with Iraqis who had been detained in Abu Ghraib prison. The lawyers were gathering information to prosecute their ongoing class action lawsuit on behalf of the former prisoners against companies under contract with the U.S. Army. Heyman made eight drypoints, incising portraits and commentary in reverse on the metal plates as the men spoke. The artist said, “I wrote as fast as possible so as to give my viewers a real sense of the testimony given. I did not edit, other than to decide when to start writing and when to stop.” Words describing torture and humiliation crowd around the portraits and fill the sheets, visually imprisoning their subjects. Heyman’s line is taut and austere, seemingly so as not to soften the impact of his images. All the men had eventually been released without ever having been charged with a crime. In separate incidents since these interviews, two of the subjects have been killed by unidentified gunmen.

Daniel is now part of the permanent collections at the New York Public Library.