Bringing the War Home-Schuyler DeMarinis-Reading #6

Bringing the War Home is a fresh look at the effects of war, as the put it “away from the battlefield.” The exhibition’s website calls it a rejection of the male dominate war photography that would first come to mind when the topic is brought up. This exhibit takes a more interdisciplinary approach to photography including embroidered imagery, edited photos, and documentation of graffiti. The review in Art Radar looks at the show as a way of blending art and documentation.

Untitled-US-Soldier-III-2008-c-Farhad-Ahrarnia-courtesy-Rose-Issa-Projects-231x300

Farhad Ahrarnia, Untitled (US Soldier III), 2008

   I think that it is important to look away from the battlefield because war affects much more than we think. One artist focuses on the families back home, the mother’s whose sons are away at war, and the “care packages” that are made for them. It is stories like these that become much more personal and in turn much more emotional on the viewer. It is unfortunate that stories like these are typically looked over in the mass media because our society wants to see the action shots. They want the carnage not the sob story back home.

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Christopher Sims, Mosque with Golden Dome, 2006

   Another part of the exhibit that I found interesting was the work of Christopher Sims. He took photographs of training facilities in the United States that were mock Afghani and Iraqi villages. Mosque with Golden Dome stood out the most. The United States Army was training soldiers to fight in a holy place of worship. Let us just say for a moment that the American people saw images of Afghani and Iraqi extremists preparing to fight the United States Army in Christian churches. The response would be ghastly. It is amazing what we do as Americans that is hidden not only from the rest of the world but also from ourselves. We are fortunate to have artists like Christopher Sims to show us these things.

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