In The Shepherd and the Flock, I look at the relationship between (political) leaders and their followers. I’m curious to see how the group dynamics that arise at rallies, demonstrations and protests are represented and can be interpreted. I take outset in screenshots from online footage. I reduce them to line-drawings in Photoshop, print them on watercolor paper and fill them in using ink. At a residency at the Frans Masereel Centre in the spring of 2020, I used the same technique to make lithographic prints (see the gallery at the bottom of the page).

The Flock (selection)

The first series is based on news footage of demonstrations and riots during the announcement of the arrival of a number of centers for asylum seekers in provincial Dutch communities in 2015. The sudden explosion of pent-up rage overwhelmed the authorities and left several town halls in ruins. Right or wrong, the group dynamics of the mob, the sweet and willful surrender to hooliganism and the cathartic obliteration of personality, morals and responsibility, were all on display; fascinating and scary, both spectacle and warning.

The Shepherd (selection)

I wanted to avoid the ‘usual suspects’ here, somehow it seemed to easy to use footage from Trump’s or other right-wing politicians’ rallies. Besides, the left-wing or progressive politicians rely on the same visual cues and group dynamics to engage their followers.

Lithographs (selection)

Rune Peitersen