Where to start? War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict And Its Aftermath showing at the Brooklyn Museum is comprised of 400 prints that include works of some 284 photographers from 28 countries who have captured conflicts through their lenses over the span of 165 years.
This exhibition has countless layers. It's intense, at times brutal, and ultimately revealing in an unlimited number of ways. The nature of war is presented by photographs grouped in specific themes. For example, one theme, The Wait, displays images of soldiers before battle; lounging in boredom, preparing in anticipation, wrestling, passing time. Some of the other many other themes included Recruitment, Training, Religion, Aftermath, Children, and Execution.
The exhibition explores the relationship between war and photography. It is less a typical documentary-style collection of prints than a representation of how photography exists in war; how it affects soldiers, civilians, and molds our understanding and perspectives. It represents the camera as an entity and a tool.
The title is War slash Photography, reiterating the fact that the two stand on their own. Many images were taken by civilians, soldiers, and military photographers – not only photo-journalists. Each individual peering through a lens captures certain moments differently. There is art present, there is perspective, persuasion, and manipulation.
This exhibition, from beat up photos from a soldiers' scrap-book to Joe Rosenthal's Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, portrays a wide-range of aspects of war and a vast number of perspectives by the respective photographers, from novice to legendary. One could spend weeks dissecting this exhibition – a sanctuary for reflection, understanding, and discovery about war / photography.
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn NY 11238—6052
Text and photos by Carlos J. Fonts