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Detonating Rough Ground

Kelly, Liam (2011) Detonating Rough Ground. Ormeau Baths Gallery. [Exhibition]

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This exhibition, curated by Liam Kelly, includes works by two artists whose photography, in differing ways, engages with the experiential representation of trauma and memory and the sensory and affective aspects of conflict as laid into ‘haunted’ rubble. Sophie Ristelhueber’s ( France ) photographic works recorded in zones of conflict such as Palestine Kuwait, Iraq and Bosnia register, inter alia, the dismantled apparatus and encodings of war and its aftermath – the psycho-graphic as well as the physical tracings and scarrings of a tormented terrain and the exposed forensic evidence of bombed out buildings. She has described herself in revealing the subterranean landscape : ‘I am an artist standing a little like an archaeologist’ For this show we exhibit ‘Stitches’ ( 2005) . One element of this composite work includes b/w close-up photographs taken in Palestinian cities of ‘haunted’ earthy tracings. These are juxtaposed by snippets of statements by politicians related to war, embroidered on cloth. In this off setting of text, textile and terrain ‘… we see the world’s sewing work as it goes, nose to the ground.’ ( R.M. Mason,2005) It has been stated that Paul Seawright’s( N.Ireland) new photographic works in ’Volunteer’ ( 2011), shot in the USA, bring together the two major themes of his practice, contemporary cities and the representation of conflict . The exhibition will allow for examination of how ‘Volunteer’ extends his previous work, interrogating how contemporary conflict might be represented at a distance from the battlefield without ‘… recourse to drama-centric imagery ‘ in selected US sites where the rebounding trauma and tension of the war in Afghanistan is registered. He presents the landscape of the American city as a type of battlefield where the spectre of war in the Middle East is tangible on every street corner, college campus, town square and front yard. ‘Volunteer’ is a survey of sorts, landscapes from today's fraying, centrelesspost 9-11 North American cities. Each photograph made at the location of amilitary recruiting station, where a different battle is being fought - tofind young men and women to volunteer for service in Afghanistan. These new works comment not just on the ongoing war and the battle to recruit new soldiers, but thecontemporary North American city, a landscape littered with thrift stores,gun dealerships, fast food outlets, nightclubs, car dealerships, strip mallsand pawn shops. It is in these spaces on the margins of small towns andcities that the recruiters move amongst the unemployed, immigrants, ethnicminorities and students to find the volunteers of tomorrow. This exhibition has been curated to prompt a dialogue between these two sets of works related in differing ways to war and the affective charge of architecture and terrain.

Item Type:Exhibition
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > Belfast School of Art
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute > Art, Conflict and Society
Art and Design Research Institute
Location:Ormeau Baths Gallery
ID Code:20994
Deposited By: Ms Grainne Loughran
Deposited On:17 Feb 2012 14:55
Last Modified:21 Jan 2015 10:28

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