Harvard University, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (2010)
Curators : Harun Farocki & Antje Ehmann
Exhibition and panel discussion explore the question “How can wars of the present and the experience of war be adequately represented?”
The airplanes, submarines and tanks of World War I could not be adequately drawn in ink, painted in oil or cast in bronze. The new weapons demanded new techniques to depict them: the verisimilitude of photography or the dynamics of film.
The weapons of our post-industrial age are computerized and demand computer-generated images for rendition. Computer animation is not only an appropriate form of depiction, it is in itself part of the weapon system. Computer animation prepares the soldier for his deployment in the field. Computer animation is also used to cure returning soldiers traumatized by their experience of war: part of their therapy is the reenactment of key events in the field by means of computer animation.
Battles and attacks are initially simulated on the computer when strategy is discussed; operations that have been completed are archived in the program’s memory and become part of the simulation.
Our exhibition is a collection of art works dealing with the question: how can the wars of the present and the experience of war be adequately represented? Can the military image be re-appropriated or how can it be countered? What are different types of images capable of? – The Image in Question.