Exhibition Burke + Norfolk: Photographs From The War In Afghanistan

Posted on by Ben Hodson

I went to visit the recent exhibition by photographer Simon Norfolk.  The work is presented as a collaboration between the artist and a 19th century artist John Burke.  This "collaboration" presents both Burkes orignal works alongside Norfolk's contemporary work.

Quote from Tate website:

"Norfolk’s photographs reimagine or respond to Burke’s Afghan war scenes in the context of the contemporary conflict."

I found this interesting juxtaposition of new and old engaging.  Especially as I have been looking at some of the early context of photography and its relationship to overseas travel.  Also it plays into my research based around the ideas of photography and its role in war and social change.

Research: Colonialism and Photography

Posted on by Ben Hodson

I have been collecting images in other countries including; Zimbarbwe, Turkey, USA, Morocco and Iraq.  This desire to document the places I have been and bring back images (almost as trophies) has made me start to connect what I am doing with the very history of photography.

As the invention of photography (both Daguerre and Talbot) starting spreading around world, photographers starting using 'field' cameras to take out door photos and record the exotic and far off places.  This ability to give people back home a photorealistic glimpse into these far off lands became appealing.

I have been doing some research into the relationship between early photography and Europe's colonisation of the world.

Some of these early photographers recorded these places in more formal portrait sittings of the local inhabitants. Others choose to document the places in a more 'travel' style.