14 turned overseas. He dedicated the next body of work to the detritus and devastation of war focusing specifically on the conflict and resulting casualties in Iraq both military and civilian. Grenades Bullets Targets Dog Tags and Gunpowder were part of a renewed and reconfigured sculptural arsenal. The exhibition was claustrophobic in its nihilism and heart breaking in its indictment of human behavior. One of the final pieces completed in this series of closely related works is titled Ascension. Assembled from a collection of infant body bags clipped together they rise from floor to ceiling like a totem pole of tragedy. It left many people emotionally shattered. The uncompromising and unveiled accusatory message expressed through his use of appropriated imagery historical references and transformed context bears specific comparison to the powerful installation-driven work of Hans Haake along with the lacerating associative imagery of Martha Rosler from her significant collage series Bringing Home The War. In the exhibition which he titled Et Plus Bellum granite carved into an oversized soft rectangle more of a tombstone than a surrogate dog tag of a living soldier is poised to topple over. A third work Untitled Helmet dated 2005 is comprised of a facsimile of a soldiers helmet cast in glass in a valiant attempt at ritual purification an idea enhanced by the fact that it was periodically strewn with fresh rose petals throughout the run of the show. It remains a favorite piece of Joes to be included in the gallery retrospective which this catalogue commemorates and it is worth noting that he still takes distinct pleasure in the universal and common language of the piece. As with Haake and Rosler and for that matter many of the most effective artists who have political agendas it is the re-contextualization of an object with a skewered history that allows for the new self-determined artistic message to ring loud and clear with a language that is deceptively simple and therefore accessible to a wide demographic. When I asked Joe about the disappearance of the war-related iconography immediately following that exhibition he responded with the same vein of hard-edged simplicity that he often strives for in his artwork. I was never under the impression that my art could change anything. If Guernica couldnt stop war and suffering nothing could. So I decided to build a metaphorical ark for my family to escape. But when my childhood friend Jamie was killed I turned the boat upside down and titled the show Not Even the Saints Can Help a quote from Vittorio DeSicas Bicycle Thief.