Dead bodies on the street, photographed from a car. The maker of the photograph cannot be revealed. Victims are mostly kidnapped and then murdered. Bodies are thrown on the street as warning or terror. Some militias prohibit family members to pick up the dead bodies. Sometimes it proves be a booby trap.

War Memorial

Artists: Julian Germain

Dates: 04.10.08 - 23.11.08

Venue: Related Exhibition at Aspex Gallery

Since the invention of simple box cameras, those in military service have taken their own pictures of their lives, the places they have visited and the things they have done. Some have been anodyne tourist photographs or pictures of their mates mugging for the camera. Others have had complex motives, as the camera is used as a box in which to collect trophies. Others still have a political purpose, to highlight conditions of service or very occasionally war crimes.

On the rare occasions when artists have used these amateur military images, it has been as found images, and they have not chosen to enquire too deeply into the motivations of those who made them, how they were seen and circulated, and what they were used for. At Aspex, in a city renowned for its military presence, Julian Germain (UK) asks those in military service, or those who have been, to show and talk about their photographs, to make an exhibition that will give the opportunity for those who make such images to enter into a dialogue about them.

Julian Germain is one of the best known photographers working in the UK today. His work has been made in consistent dialogue with his subjects, and has often incorporated their photography. He has worked on projects about (and with) ex-steel workers in Consett, football fans and Brazilian street children.

Supported by Arts Council England and Portsmouth City Council.


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