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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Surfaces and Strategies – PhotoMonth 2017 – The War from Here

Our second curator led tour in Krakow was again with Gordon MacDonald at the exhibition ‘The War From Here’ at Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition shows artist’s views of war from a non-conflict situation.  None of the images were shot in a conflict situation, but were shot in more domestic settings to show how we view war from our own homes and comfort.  MacDonald described the work as ‘agents of containment in a domestic setting’.  The artists are imagining war from home or commenting on war from different angles.  Some of the images were produced by watching military personnel operating drone military equipment to do air strikes, or by using montages of juxtaposes of domestic settings with war situations.

This was a non-documentary war show.  The images and displays are quite easy to look at, but get the viewer thinking about how we consume images of war and how we think about war.

The images are often neither truth or fiction, but are a combination of both; an interpretation of the truth,  The images made me realise how complicit we, as the public, are to the notion of war and how it is sold to us. Countries like the USA are built on war and these images played with the viewer and their ideas of real scenarios. But the scenarios are fake.  As these fake scenarios have been recorded as photograph documentaries, they undermine the truth behind war and the images we are presented with by credible sources.  What should we believe?  Who should we believe?  The exhibition left me with an uneasy feeling about what I have perceived to be truthful depictions in the media about war. MacDonald has been extremely successful in producing that emotion in me.

Figure 1: Sutherst. 2017

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