Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

Shadow Boxing by Michael Ovens

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Michael Ovens

The University of Western Australia 

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Shadow Boxing

'Shadow Boxing' depicts a scene from the 2014 Hrushevskoho Street riots in Ukraine, where protesters and police clashed in a series of riots over new anti-protest laws passed by the government. The feared and loathed spectre of authoritarian government, waking from its post-war dormancy, is depicted literally in this work as the shadows of police officers in the smoke. 

The title, 'Shadow Boxing', refers to the practice of boxers who, in preparation for an upcoming match, fight with an imaginary opponent. This piece explores the ultimate futility of fighting the government with violence.

Both government and the state are constructs of the human imagination, violences that we impose upon ourselves. Although it may be cathartic to throw rocks, we have as much chance of enacting change through violence as we do of defeating our own shadow.  

Medium: Oil and digital 


Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

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Last updated:
Friday, 12 December, 2014 2:01 PM