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.

The Sublime Image of Destruction

Artists: Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Simon Norfolk and Paul Seawright

Dates: 03.10.08 - 04.01.09

Venue: Related Exhibition at De La Warr Pavilion

As, through the 1990s, photography rose to unprecedented prominence in the museum, with many art photographers making very large, finely resolved prints to hang on gallery walls, one genre emerged about the depiction of war. Art photographers followed the armies, not usually working on the front line but in the wake of the destructive forces, documenting, often with large format cameras, the image of destruction. Some of them, such as Simon Norfolk (UK), had been or remained photojournalists who turned to this form of art photography.

Like other museum photography, some of the images establish a relationship with the tradition of painting. They seek to make pictures that are quieter, more resolved and thought through registers of the destruction of war than the quotidian and news-driven work of the photojournalists. At the same time, the use of large cameras encourages in this genre a deportment, stateliness and distance, literal and sometimes emotional, from its subject.


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