Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne

"I find that photographers have a negative view on life.
They just don't have a positive lens on the landscape around them.
They tend to see things in black and white."

- Charles Alexander Moffat.

Website by Suzanne MacNevin:

He's right, photographers are cynics. They're self-critical and depressed. They also breathe in too much fumes from being in the dark room all the time. Those fumes CANNOT be good for a person. Moffat doesn't work in the dark room however. He gets other people to do his dirty work. (How Andy Warhol of him!) When talking to Alex (as I call him) I posed a number of questions about his new 2004 works.

Moffat is currently in South Korea working on paintings, photographic works and even video art pieces.

I interviewed him on this topic using ICQ Chat. During the interview we discussed a number of his works, which are shown (or linked to) below:

Fear Americans #1 - Video Art Piece - 4301 KB.
Kill Bill Daddy Cool - Video Art Piece - 5849 KB.
Oil, Blood and Cleavage : 2003
Oil Truck : 2003
Natural Born Babykillers #001: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #005: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #007: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #010: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #011: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #016: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #017: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #023: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #035: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #040: 2004
Natural Born Babykillers #045: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #001: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #007: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #017: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #018: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #019: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #020: 2004
Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #022: 2004

Natural Born Babykillers #007: 2004

Natural Born Babykillers #023: 2004

Natural Born Babykillers #045: 2004

Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #018: 2004

Un Lego Soldier dans le Champagne #022: 2004

Lets start with the Kill Bill piece. What prompted you to do that one?
  • I'm a fan of Tarantino. That was really more of a practice piece to get used to the medium of video. I have better versions of the video, but they are quite large in terms of file size. The version that is online is low resolution. It really was a practice piece for me and I placed it online to share with others who like Tarantino.

    So its basically fan-art. What about the Fear Americans #1? Are you actually planning to make more videos on that theme?

  • Oh yes! That video is definitely more artistic. I spent a lot longer working on it too. It took me weeks just to find all the video clips and then it took a long time to sort through the clips and find and edit the stuff I wanted to show. I am currently planning to make a 2nd piece about guns in America.

    Your 2004 pieces definitely have a war and violence theme. Even your pieces of South Korea juxtapose peace with images of barbed wire. Why are you so anti-war?

  • I'm a pacifist. I only believe in war if it is to defend yourself. Bush's war has nothing to do with defense. It is about power and control. He has no interest in peace. His only interest is helping those people who are in control of the oil market.

    What makes you so sure?

  • Because of what happened in Russia. The CEO of the Yukos Oil company was arrested for fraud. Bush decided to step into the arena and try to defend the oil CEO. He has no business sticking his nose into the Russian oil business. It proved that he is less than sincere about his motives in ANY country where there is oil, and Iraq has 90% of the world's oil reserves. Bush has had two wars in oil riches.

    So why haven't you done anything about the oil industry?

  • I did. Last year I did two paintings on the topic. A painting of an army oil truck in Iraq and a 2nd piece called "Oil, Blood and Cleavage".

    Okay, lets talk about your new works. Why Lego?

  • While shopping in South Korea, I noticed that their Lego here is very militaristic. They have tanks, Apache attack choppers, land-to-air missiles. The Lego is like war propaganda. Except that South Koreans themselves believe strongly in peace and want to unite with North Korea. I also wanted to continue a topic that I started in 2002 about guns and children, except I expanded it to war and toys.

    Boys with Toys, eh?

  • Yes, boys with toys. It goes much deeper than that however. Lego is usually a boy's toy and in South Korea they have mandatory military service for males, which was an idea forced upon them by the United States. It takes on a whole new meaning.

    You mean the United States forces South Koreans into the army?

  • Yes. After the Korean War, the United States practically owned South Korea. They oversaw the military and decided that mandatory military service for all South Korean males was a good thing. The idea has now pervaded their culture that even their toys tend to have something to do with the military.

    Is there any way they can "dodge the draft"..?

  • Well, if they learn english, they could move overseas and go to an english university or get a job in a different country.

    Do you think North Korea and South Korea will re-unite?

  • Eventually, yes. But the United States isn't helping. The US tends to scaremonger the South Koreans, claiming that the North is "communist" and therefore evil. The North is starving for food and the US has a trade embargo against them. If the United States just stopped messing around then North Korea and South Korea could join into a single country once more. Its a bit like what happened in East and West Germany. Almost overnight they became a single country.

    Do the North Koreans want peace?

  • Definitely. They're just afraid that the United States is trying to conquer them. If the US stopped starving them to death, pulled US troops out of South Korea and allowed bilateral talks between the North and South, the North would willingly rejoin the South. Currently the US troops have pulled out near the DMZ and moved most of their troops to the southern most parts of the country, which is a good sign, but more needs to be done. The Americans need to go home and allow peace talks.

    What about China, Japan and Russia? Why do they always want 6-way talks that include the United States?

  • China, Japan and Russia are against North Korea rejoining the civilized world. North Korea has lots of natural resources but is low on food. If they re-enter the world market, it will be bad for the economies in China and Japan. Russia will be less effected. Making sure they have 6-way talks with the US is their way of making sure NK and SK don't join together.

    Why has Bush not done anything about North Korea?

  • Because he doesn't know anything about North Korea. There is no oil there. Pick a reason. He has no interest in North Korea, therefore he doesn't try to negotiate peace. Plus he is happy with the status quo.

    Which is?

  • Scaremongering. Bush's popularity depends on how scared americans are.

    So whenever something scary happens his popularity goes up?

  • Basically yes.
  • But Americans seem to be more worried about the economy now?

  • Thats right, and the 2004 election will really depend on what Americans are more afraid of: Being poor or the threat of terrorist attack.

    Do you think America will be attacked again?

  • Definitely. After killing people in Afghanistan and Iraq they have now made more enemies than friends.

    So you think Bush only made things worse?

  • Going around and killing innocent people is what started this whole mess. Killing more innocent people is not going to make it better. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    Two wrongs and two George Bush's?

  • No, one Nixon, one Reagan and two George Bush's. That's four wrongs. Between those four presidents, America has made a lot of enemies. Don't be surprised if we get some terrorists from Panama or Vietnam some day. Reagan and Nixon's legacy will come back and haunt us some day.

    You think that could really happen?

  • It is a possibility. But should we attack Panama or Vietnam AGAIN just because of a few terrorists? No. It was wrong the first time, it will be wrong a 2nd time.

    So whats with the champagne?

  • Americans have been very unfair to the French. Whenever the French are helping the United States, everyone loves the French. When the French are against something, Americans hate them. Its so ridiculous and only proves what huge hypocrites some Americans are. Technically its not even champagne. Its Spanish Cava.

    Do you hate Americans?

  • No, I have many friends in the US. Family too. I've travelled to over half of all the states too. I liked New Orleans the best. Its the hypocrites in the United States that I despise. The NRA for example.

    How is the NRA hypocritical?

  • Because they support the right to bear arms, but only if its a white person who has the gun.

    So they're racist?

  • Oh yes! The NRA was created the same year that the KKK became an illegal terrorist group. The NRA and KKK are basically the same thing but with a different name. The one group supports the right to own guns and the other group shoots people.

    I saw a statistic that 12,000 Americans are murdered every year with guns. Do you blame the NRA for that?

  • No. Canada has similar gun laws and has over 7 million guns, BUT their gun murder rate is only 160. The reason why Americans are so trigger happy is their culture.

    Culture, do you mean violent movies or hardcore music?

  • Canada watches the same movies and listens to the same music, so thats not why either. By culture I mean Americans live in a culture of fear. They shoot first and ask questions later. Canadians simply don't do that. Americans are afraid of everything. They're afraid of psychos on the subway, they're afraid of black people, they're afraid of the government, and they're afraid of crime and thieves. They're afraid that because someone else has a gun that they should have one too.

    Do you know the story about the burglar who broke into the Canadian prime minister's house?

  • Yes, and a funny story it is.

    What happened?

  • The burglar broke in to rob the place, the prime minister Jean Chretien phoned the RCMP and the prime minister's wife hit the guy on the head with an Inuit sculpture and knocked him out. Typical Canadian-ness in action.

    In the US, the burglar would have just been shot. Why are Canadians not afraid of burglars?

  • I guess we're just not cowards. That doesn't mean Americans are cowards. It just means they live in a culture of fear.

    You're not going to make money off of "Lego art", its been done before, so why are you doing these lego-based pieces?

  • Because people can identify Lego. Its not high art, but its low art either. True, its been done before, but so has painting. Does that mean that painting is dead? No. Never. Painting is just evolving. As for money, I don't need to make money. I just enjoy making a statement with my art.

    So how is South Korea? What are the people like?

  • Very nice. I love it here. Its a very beautiful country and the people have a lot of hospitality.

    How's the food? Are you learning the language?

  • Spicy! I like the barbequed meat the best however. Its very good. I like Korean as a language. Its been very interesting to learn. Cho-a-hey-yo Hun-gal-mal!

    I think thats enough. Thanks for chatting with me.

  • You're welcome.
  • Capitalism Perverts Reality, painting courtesy of the Lilith Gallery of Toronto.
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