03 November 2006

Martha Rosler: Still Bringing the War Home

During what the Vietnamese refer to as "the American war" Martha Rosler created a powerful series of photomontages called "Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful" (1967-72) in which she integrated images of war into scenes of American domesticity. Here is an example, entitled "Red Stripe Kitchen," in which American GIs seemingly search the hallway just beyond a well-appointed kitchen.

In response to our current fiasco in Iraq, Rosler has renewed the project, calling it "Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful" (New Series, 2004). Here are a couple of the her images entitled "Amputee (Election II)," "Gladiator," and "Photo-Op" respectively.

Rosler's work is included in an exhibit called "War Fare" at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. The exhibition also includes work by for other photographers - Ashley Gilbertson, Sean Hemmerle, Sarah Pickering and Sean Snyder - I am not familiar with any of them, but they seem to work within more traditional photojournalistic conventions. It is interesting to note that even the oldest of them had only just been born when Rosler was making her first series.

[All images in this post © Martha Rosler.]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering exactly why you think it is interesting that the fellow photographers in the exhibit had only just been born when Rossler was doing her first series?

03 November, 2006 06:20  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

It is interesting to have four artists who were born between 1966 and 1978 in the same show as someone born in 1943 (I think). Usually there is either a real mix or the outlier is the "young" star (talent deserving wider recognition). And it makes me wonder where all the photographers are who are in the age group between the two. So I guess I find it more "curious" than anything.

03 November, 2006 13:59  
Blogger Apprentice said...

Bearing in mind that the earlier work must use a rather clever collage method, these later photos are (probably) a superb use of the layer mask. I've been looking for examples of fairly straightforward photoshop that tries to make the world a better place rather than simply sell us stuff we don't need.


I also like the fact that the earlier work is being understood and referenced by a new generation of photographers, and in the new medium.

13 May, 2007 12:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this exhibit a few months ago in Worcester, MA in conjunction with a talk by Howard Zinn. I think these images are absolutely amazing and it's just so interesting to have this sort of contradiction between what we in the US are living and what's going on in the world thrown in your face. It's a fantastic collection.

17 January, 2008 12:48  

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