Combat Drill was the perfect choice to represent the show. You’re initial interpretation of the image is that the event it’s capturing are taking place in a real combat zone. But when you see it in the context of the other photos it’s presented with, you can see that it’s only a training exercise and there is no real danger present.
Your initial reaction is in direct conflict with reality.
All the works at CONFLICT tie into this them.
Jason Cohn’s black and white series’, all dealing with socio-economic difficulty, clearly have telling stories behind them, but because you don’t know the story, it makes the imagery all the more moving.
Chris Hondros’s image Liberian Fighter causes mixed emotions. The man depicted is ecstatically happy in the middle of a war zone. Hondros also has a very moving set of images from Iraqi framed by the window of a Humvee.
Chris Hondros - Liberian Fighter, 2003
You can see more of Hondros’s work here.
I recommend that you save Larry Rippel’s installation No War Here for last. No War Here is a critique of the mainstream media’s lack of war imagery.
Rippel’s work is the most overtly political at the exhibition, and is given greater context after you’ve looked at the other pieces.
Larry Rippel - Parade Magazine 2005-2007 No War Here installation
You can check out more work by Renee Rosensteel here.