Monday, January 30, 2012
Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection [Sandow Birk: "The Depravities of War" [2006-07]]
The Depravities of War..
From 2006 to 2007, Sandow Birk created "The Depravities of War", portraying details of the US-led Iraq War. Working in California, Birk was inspired by Jacques Callot's, "Miseries and Misfortunes of War", a print from 1633 drawing on the Thirty Year War between Catholic France and Protestant Germany. In his series Birk maintain Callot's focus on the civilian victims of the conflict and the unfortunate fates of many of the veterans. Middle Eastern landscapes and architecture replace French and German countryside, office park architecture substitute for cobbled European streets, and veteran with wheelchairs and walkers replace Callot's crippled soldiers. For Birk, the overall patterns of war and death is constant even if the specific details change..
Round-the-clock media coverage has made the details of operations in Iraq inescapable. disturbing images of prisons and executions have shaped public debate about the occupation in a way that is new to world history. The immense size of Birk's images recognizes that reality. He has made them difficult to ignore. The prints pose the question, "do the citizens share responsibility for actions taken by their own government in this action?" ..
Title page for Depravities of War Portfolio, 2007..
Morbid Curiosity: Richard Harris Collection..