Harn Museum explores conflict's consequences

September 9, 2016
Alisson Clark

Jennifer Karady, Former Lance Corporal West Chase, U.S. Marine Corps, Combat Service Support Company 113, I Marine Expeditionary Force, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with fiancée, Emily Peden; Ann Arbor, MI, May 2014

As ceremonies across the country look back on the Sept. 11 attacks 15 years ago, the University of Florida’s Harn Museum of Art is using art to reflect on violent conflict’s consequences in the United States and abroad.

Curator of Photography Carol McCusker spent two years working with veterans’ groups, UF faculty and students and the Gainesville community to create the exhibition “Aftermath: The Fallout of War —America and the Middle East,” which features the work of 12 leading photographers from around the world. 

“We wanted to step back from war and show its impact,” McCusker said.

McCusker’s gallery talk on Sept. 11 is one of a dozen programs – including a veterans’ panel on the challenges of homecoming and visits by contributing photographers – designed to spark conversation and reflection.

“There was a lot of discussion about striking a balance between showing consequences of war both at home and abroad,” she said.

Jennifer Karady’s series portrays scenes that American soldiers can’t forget, recreated in the midst of their lives back home. For former Marine Lance Corporal West Chase – depicted in Karady’s photo above – crowds of people bring back the stress of tense moments during the Fallujah elections. Karady will speak at the Harn on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. with Lebanese-American photographer Rania Matar, whose work is also part of “Aftermath.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario – the subject of a forthcoming Steven Spielberg movie starring Jennifer Lawrence – has seven pieces in the exhibition, including a photograph of a Syrian refugee family so hauntingly beautiful that at first glance it’s easily mistaken for a Madonna and child painting.

Lynsey Addario, Killis Camp, Turkish/Syrian Border in Turkey, October 22, 2013

Lynsey Addario, Killis Camp, Turkish/Syrian Border in Turkey, October 22, 2013

In another series, images from Queen Victoria’s photographer in Afghanistan are juxtaposed with modern equivalents by British photographer Simon Norfolk.  

Simon Norfolk, Afghan Police being trained by U.S. Marines, Camp Leatherneck., 2010–2011, archival pigment print, from the series Burke + Norfolk, loan and images courtesy of Simon Norfolk and Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA

  Simon Norfolk, Afghan Police being trained by U.S. Marines, Camp Leatherneck., 2010–2011, from the series Burke + Norfolk, loan and images courtesy of Simon Norfolk and Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA

The exhibition also includes video installations and an interactive touch panel with quizzes, maps, news clips and TED talks.

“Aftermath” is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts with support from the University of Florida, Harn endowments and private donations.

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