The Spectacle of War at Empty Quarter Gallery

Opening soon at the Empty Quarter Gallery in DIFC is “Spectacle of War”,  a unique exhibition featuring for the first time in the region a group of international photographers and their captured images from contemporary wars. Works by Benjamin Lowy, Richard Mosse, Spencer Murphy, Phil Nesmith, and Trevor Paglen depict various scenes mostly of the Iraq war.

The exhibit presents war as a performance with specific roles for each player. The images capture the actors on and off stage, using a range of different technologies, broadcasted through multiple media channels, and also re-enacted as a modern video game.

The images are detached from the violence we associate with war. The camera lens acts as a “weapon” itself shooting the various stages of preparation and the aftermath of turmoil.

Such photographs support Heidegger’s thoughts on art history’s transition to modernity. “The fundamental event of the modern age is the conquest of the world as picture. The word ‘picture’ now means the structured image that is the creation of man’s producing which represents and sets before. In such producing, man contends for the position in which he can be that particular being who gives the measure and draws up the guidelines for everything that is.” Photography acts as a method to control the chaos that is violence and war. The camera documents, contains, and draws a map of the battleground.

Spectacle of War at the Empty Quarter Gallery from March 14th-April 30th, 2011