Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nina Berman - Homeland

Border Watcher by Nina Berman

Border Watcher with Dogs, Arizona and Mexico border, 2008 - Nina Berman

If you're dawdling around Spring Street in NoLIta any time soon, drop into the Jen Bekman Gallery at 6 Spring and check out exhibit by documentary photographer, Nina Berman. It showcases 14 photos from her newly published monograph, Homeland. In her artist's statement, Berman describes the theme of her exhibit:
I came to this series after having spent the last few years photographing very graphic examples of the human cost of war. Many of the subjects I photographed said they grew up thinking war would be “fun.” Many watched the first Gulf War on TV and thought it was "awesome." Several said that becoming a soldier meant they would finally do something good in life.

Rather than continuing to show evidence of war, it seems appropriate for me to show the fantasies of war, the selling of war, the institutions of war, the culture of war and with it the militarization of American life.
Berman's photographs are matter-of-fact, even sterile sometimes, which only adds to their impact. The resulting conflation of the military industrial complex with ordinary American life - often including small children - is all the more haunting. I recently wrote about Berman's moving set of photos depicting Iraq veteran Ty Ziegel and his girlfriend. None of those pictures are on display, but may appear in the book.

More images from the exhibit
Nina Berman's Web site

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