Teresa Diehl’s sculptural installations are informed by her firsthand experience of conflict as a young woman in Tannourine, Lebanon when the 1975 civil war broke out and resulted in over two decades of war with an estimated 250,000 civilian casualties. The unpredictability of at any moment one’s life could be turned upside down through such violent acts as a car bomb or an air strike is explored in Diehl’s work. The dualities and multiple layers of Diehl’s installation suggest both the universal nature of these issues and questions of morality that exist in our struggle to maintain peace through the act of war.
Drawing on the dichotomy of planes as symbols of war and birds as symbols of peace, Diehl’s sculptural installation All Over poetically draws attention to the inherent dualities of war. Using glycerin, an ingredient mostly commonly found in soap, as the material for the 611 hand carved objects, Diehl alludes to historical wartime episodes in which scraps of soap were widely collected to increase production of its explosive by-product, nitroglycerine. Lending another layer to the duality of the work is the soundtrack of roaring wind that can be compared to the sound of war planes over head. Set against a backdrop of projected footage of olive groves from her homeland, the shadows cast by the suspended objects fragment and distort the landscape.
Diehl currently lives in Florida and teaches photography at Broward College. Her work has been collected and exhibited internationally including the Museum of Visual Arts, Venezuela, Museum of Contemporary Art, Florida, White Box in New York, and Columbia College, Chicago.