Spc. Lee Davis
US Army photo 031025-A-357
Seen through a night-vision device, paratroopers conduct a raid on a suspected terrorist's home in Fallujah, Iraq. The Soldiers are assigned to the 82nd Airbourne Division's Company B, 1st Battalion 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
This photo appeared on www.army.mil
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Frank Hurley at Charleston

01.09.08 | Julian Stallabrass

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Due to the different requirements of the various galleries that host Biennial exhibitions, some open and close at different times from the main festival. So the Frank Hurley exhibition of First World War photographs at Charleston has now opened. I did the hang with David Chandler and Ben Burbridge from Photoworks, our partner in this show.

It is fascinating to see the prints which show Hurley's artistic decisions in dealing with the negatives, suppressing detail in the shadowed silhouette of a ruined building, for example, to dramatic effect. The prints also seem to play up the theatrical effect of the works, and one wonders to what extent and in what detail Hurley directed his subjects.

His prints seem contemporary because of their use of montage to capture scenes that he believed to be true to the war but which could not be frozen in a single frame with the technology of the day; and also because of his extraordinary indoor and bunker scenes, lit with remarkable skill; but also because strangely they look so much like a current mode in art photography, in which people are instructed to perform social scenes for the plate camera.