Sure, suicide occurs with every 15,000 people or so. And poor Mark Lombardi was probably just one of those people. And yet, the number of “suicides” committed by people who’ve exposed corruption, or plan too, sometimes defies those statistics. Case by case, it makes you wonder, and invites a good, close look. To scrutinize such deaths does NOT make you a crazy and paranoid “conspiracy theorist.”
Mark drew pictures about money and politics, provocative pictures, even incriminating pictures. They were diagrams of connections, with solid lines and dotted lines and annotation, of institutions and people and known scandals. The conclusions you drew from links and associations were up to you. The FBI, and other agencies of HomeLand Security took an interest, at times, in Mark’s work.
A day before his 49th birthday, on March 22, 2000, they say he bolted his apartment from the inside and hanged himself.
Interest in his diagrams has grown as the years go by.
Just how much truth, and how many sordid stories, lay just beyond the diagrams Mark committed to paper? Whom had he made the most nervous?
We may never know all those answers, but the questions are more than worth asking.
Join us as we engage the Mark Lombardi file.
Lombardi’s drawings reference the drug wars, the BCCI scandal, Charles Keating and the savings and loan scandal, and Iran contra, but after 9/11, interest in his work only grew. His work, which he called “Narrative Structures,” seemed to sketch the backstory of the following decade of American foreign policy.
fGerman documentary Mareike Wegener has made the first doc about Lombardi and his work, Mark Lombardi: Death-Defying Acts of Art and Conspiracy. It’s a solid introduction to not just the finished drawings but also to Lombardi’s rigorously old-school research process, which filled thousands of note cards and file cabinets. Wegener grounds her film within the art world, using critics and art historians to situate Lombardi’s work not just within Conceptual and Neo-Conceptual art but also connecting it to centuries-old traditions of landscape painting.
Lombardi committed suicide in March, 2000, and while some conspiracy theorists and 9/11 Truthers have speculated foul play, Wegener in her film focuses on his life and his art, all the while acknowledging its continuing political relevance.”