Knife Crime

In the current climate, where more than 100 people have been fatally stabbed since the start of this year, I am reminded of Joseph Beuys’ artwork “Wenn Du Dich schneidest, verbinde nicht den Finger sondern das Messer” [“When you cut your finger, bandage the knife.”]

Wenn Du Dich schneidest.jpg

It is a small sculpture of a knife, bound with a small plaster over the tip of the blade.

It is often described as a humorous piece - though that may refer to its title rather than the object itself.

But I see the sculpture itself as acting as an instructive symbol of the need to address (interesting that we use the very similar word ‘dress’ in connection with a wound) what is causing the wound, and to attempt to heal those causes, as much as healing the wound itself.

In the case of a non-fatal knifing, dressing the wound will, thankfully, have saved the life of one person. Addressing the deeper causes may save the life of many.