Kevin Carter- Blog Post

Kevin Carter was a white South African photographer who worked during apartheid in South Africa as well as covering the famine in Sudan in the 1990’s. I first came across Carter in an installation about his life that I saw at the MCA Chicago. Unfortunately I couldn’t remember the artist’s name but the installation examined how Carter took a photograph of a starving child that incited a variety of reactions from the public, including a Nobel Prize but Carter committed suicide shortly after his Nobel Prize.

Carter’s life and suicide give us an extreme example of the suffering of war photographer’s having to cover tragedy repeatedly with little ability for intervention. Besides his Nobel Prize winning photo of the starving child in the Sudan, Carter also documented the tumultuous political climate of South Africa including a famous photograph of the shooting of a member of the Neo-Nazi Afrikaner Resistance Movement. Carter was often arrested by the South African government as his work went against their strict Apartheid-era laws. KEvin CarterAWB


Blog Posts 1-10

While posting after each writing would have been more logical, I ended up writing all my blogposts on one massive word document because I would often write them on the go after watching documentaries or TEDTalksX for my self, and connecting them to the course. Below are the links to all the “sparks”, and the word document of where I responded to them.

“Not What Happened but Why” – New York Times article – Responding to Susan Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others”

Sebastian Salgado – The Guardian article – Making beautiful pictures from tragedy

Bocas de ceniza – Juan Manuel Echavarría – My response to this video shown in class

11 powerful photos from the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide – The Washington Post article – Reading the article and critically analyzing the “beauty” of the photos

To Succeed in Business, Major in Art History – Huffington Post Article about why being an Art Historian is important in the way you view the world

“Let my photographs bear witness” James Nachtwey – TEDTalkX on War Photography

Audacious – Denver Art Museum Exhibit – “British artist Damien Hirst famously said, “Art survives through its effect on others.” As a leader in the contemporary art world, he, like his peers, considers making art a way to convey ideas about culture, human relationships, the environment, and politics.” – (DAM website)

Doris Salcedo – The video we watched on her public works/activism and how I reacted to it.

Mi Tierra – Denver Art Museum Exhibit – I intern(ed) at the DAM for all of this past semester, and I had the privilege of seeing the installation of this exhibit, which explores the idea of home. In the FUSE BOX space, there is a piece on Native Americans and the land they lost through war and the repercussions they are still effected by.

Sebastian Junger Remembers Tim Hetherington – Vanity Fair article – Reaction and remembering Tim Hetherington





Syrian War Artist: Tammam Azzam

The Syrian civil war and revolution has destroyed millions of homes and displaced and separated thousands of families. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and now entering almost 7 years of war the displaced citizens and refugees still try to remain connected with their home country through any way that they can.

A lot of active syrian artists have dedicated their work to the conflict, trying to show the pain and devastation of those effected by the awful war through paintings and photography. One of which is Tamman Azzam, a Syrian citizen who fled from Damascus, Syria to Dubai to escape the war. Azzam says his work changed after the revolution began, because it seemed more important to dedicate his war to the conflict. “My work was not the only thing that changed because of the war, we all changed and our opinions and perspectives on everything changed.”

His work tends to incorporate a mixed media of photography, and his own illustrations, creating a contrast of surreal and the real.

'Demonstration'-Tammam Azzam uses visual composites of the conflict that have resonated with viewers [Tammam Azzam]


'Matisse'-Tammam Azzam


‘Instant Photo’


Joseph Rosenthal

Joseph Rosenthal was born on 10/9/1991 in Washington D.C. to two Russian Jewish parents who were immigrants.  Eventually during his youth he would convert to catholicism and become interested in photography, which he started as a hobby during the Great Depression. In his career the most famous photographic he had taken was an image of five marines and a navy man hoisting an American flag on Mt. Suribachi, which is on the island of Iwo Jima.  This picture done near the end of world war two would eventually become a national symbol of patriotism, as well as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

The area of land that the flag was raised on was a very small island 760 miles south of Tokyo.  This spot was essential to the Americans because they needed Iwo Jima as an air base, but the Japanese had control of it during this time.  Eventually troops landed in 1945, leading to a month long of fighting claiming 7,000 american lives, and 21,000 Japanese.  Once the territory had been taken, they raised an American flag, but the commander of the unit wanted a bigger one to inspire his own men, and make it instill fear into their enemies.  Rosenthal and 6 soldiers would come back to the spot, and raise the flag again while Rosenthal would step back and take a picture.  This image has now become one of the most recognizable images of war. afa7e10e-837d-11de-9171-001cc4c002e0.image

Josh Rosenthal. (Accessed April 25th, 2017)

Reading Response 3: Vogue Article on Taryn Simon, Occupation of Loss



In an article based on an interview with artist Taryn Simon, journalist Julia Felsenthal discusses Simon’s performance and installation in the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. She describes the experience of entering the building with  voices and sounds emerging from several large concrete towers, eerie. The installation was designed with monuments in mind. Simon is interested in how we erect architecture in order to mark a loss and make it visible. Although she finds this theme of making loss visible in America she also thinks that the US lacks the skill and practice of mourning. Continue reading “Reading Response 3: Vogue Article on Taryn Simon, Occupation of Loss”

Shirin Neshat, Passage

I first saw this video over winter break at the SFMOMA, and was pretty shocked that it has stuck with me for this long. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the artist or title of the piece, but then the artist Shirin Neshat was featured on the MoMA Instagram this week. Sharon Neshat is an artist that primarily works in video and photography. She is Iranian born and moved to the US when she was a freshman in college in 1975. She studied painting at UC Berkley, and returned home to Iran in 1990 to visit for the first time. It had been 11 years since Neshat had been to Iran and she was shocked at how different the culture was from the last time she was there.

 “The country had transformed drastically from the monarchy to the Islamic Republic of Iran which, since the revolution, was so expansive, in the way that it had changed just about everything about the country. Ideologically, musically — the country became so religious — but also in the physical form, in the way people looked, the relationship to body language, in terms of how you had to repress absolutely any sort of sexual or physical interaction with a man — it was a phenomenon just sociologically speaking.”       -Shirin Neshat

After this visit Neshat focused her artwork on understanding the Islamic revolution in Iran and specifically the role that women play in this “new” Iran. These women found themselves at the intersection between love of God but also violence and crime.

In the piece Passage a group of men carry a body covered in white cloth across a beach. While a group of women sit in a circle and dig a grave with their hands, and a child create a ring of rocks and lights them on fire. The combination of these scenes along with the score the video is set to is incredibly haunting. The video is in response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the news footage of funeral processions carrying bodies.


Here is a low quality video of the piece, to give a sense of the video. If you ever have the opportunity to see the video at a museum it is seriously worth the trip.

Also here is a link to her TED talk, which is also incredible.

Blog Post 3: Ai WeiWei and the Syrian Refugee Crisis


Chinese artist Ai WeiWei has used art as a political protest platform for years. After being detained in China for political protest he moved to Berlin where many of the refugees from the recent Syrian crisis are fleeing to. Ai WeiWei, in protest of reluctance to let these refugees into Europe, he as covered one of his existing sculptures of Chinese zodiac signs in the now, iconic gold thermal blankets used by refugees entering a new country.

Continue reading “Blog Post 3: Ai WeiWei and the Syrian Refugee Crisis”