NPR Review of War/Photography Exhibit

The NPR reviews describes the War/Photography exhibit at the Corcoran Galley as genre defining and that it personifies conflict photography. The show includes an array of iconic war photographs, such as the falling soldier of the Spanish Civil War, the Iconic shot of the vietnamese general executing a suspected Viet cong member and Marines raising  the flag at Iwo Jima.

The NPR review is a bit critical of the exhibit, however they acknowledge that the strength of the show is its overall presentation of a collective war story. Anne Tucker, one of the original curators of the show, forced her colleagues to step outside of the individual moments each photo represented to try and unveil a pattern that connected the photos, or reveal the overall story they tell. NPR describes the experience of the galley as seeing themes and aspects of war-such as recruitment, the wait, the fighting, the aftermath, medicine, etc.- to create an overall story and connection within the separate images. Anne Tucker states “Wars don’t end, you carry them with you. Our fathers wars are our war, our wars are our children’s wars.” And as different wars reach beyond the battlefield, so does the War/Photography exhibition.

Nina Bermans photo captures a marine and his wife on their wedding day. The marine in the photo was seriously wounded in a car bombing in Iraq, which left his face permanently  disfigured and scared. The photo generated a lot of attention and criticism towards the failure of veteran care, but since the years have passed Berman reflects on the photo as being less about the couple and more about the symbol of the impact of war.

Curator Anne Tucker is quoted in the article saying “Our main goal was to open up the discussion, to put out in a coherent way a massively different approach to the subject — and let people parse it for themselves.”



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