After posting a link to WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY at The Brooklyn Museum over the weekend, as often happens, I came across an article that certainly resonated with the issues brought forth in that exhibition. It's actually a conversation between Iain Boal and Julian Stallbrass on the eitherand blog (highly recommended, by the way). They pick apart quite a few historic and contemporary images, addressing the issues around the making and dissemination of photographs from conflict zones. I was particularly interested in their initial discussion of an image (and a person) that has come to be known as the "Marlboro Marine" - one very likely recognized by many. Digging into the story around this image (and of the human being depicted) is illuminating. Below is a screenshot of an image search of the term "Marlboro Marine" - interesting in-and-of-itself.
I was pleased that the work of late photographer, Tim Hetherington was also referenced in the article, as his worked crossed over the museum/commercial space in pretty interesting way with his Sleeping Soldiers multi-channel video piece as well as the commercially released, Restrepo.
Their conversation also turned to a mention of Roland Barthes' analysis of the Paris Match magazine cover from Mythologies which then led me to think about a video piece made by Vincent Meessen which takes the (now) mythical picture described by Barthes as its point of departure. And then, this line of thinking led me to think of other artists dealing with the imagery of militarization in more conceptual modes, such as Harun Farocki (and Trevor Paglen, who is mentioned in the conversation between Boal and Stallbrass).
• To read the conversation in eitherand.org, click HERE.
• To read about and view Meessen's video, Vita Nova, click HERE.
• To read about Harun Farocki's exhibition Images of War (At a Distance) at MOMA, click HERE.