Monday, October 25, 2010

Seeing things a bit differently

"Corolla Fallujah", 2009
Digital silver gelatin print on fiber based paper, selinium toned
(Richard Mosse)

By conventional standards,Richard Mosse's photograph, does not fit the stereotypical view of what is considered to be a still life painting. For starters it doesn't consist of the standard fruits, jug and flowers composition but instead imagery is submerged in a bloodbath of bullets and subject matter is politically charged. As its title suggests, Fallujah is not only an insurgent stronghold but is a haven for terrorists and it symbolizes the various internal and external conflicts that surround the Iraq war. An epic center for violence, safety is paramount. A car becomes a real necessity for quick and safe transportation in and out city but it is also a vehicle, both literally and figuratively, in keeping one alive. It is quite interesting that Mosse juxtaposes these realities on top of one another. Image is even more interesting as car in picture is not just an ordinary car but an American car, a corolla to be exact, which makes it into a living target. It is no accident then that car is disfigured by the overwhelming spray of bullets. It is overkill and Mosse doesn't mask this fact--he doesn't shy away from the ferociousness and brutality of violence. This gesture is undeniably a scathing indictment of war.

"Hoping the Light will save us 2", 2008
Diptych/Installation View, Carleton University
(Pascal Grandmaison)

Pascal Grandmaison diptych installation is quite interesting. At a glance it shows a face of a man but on close inspection there is something odd and asymmetrical about composition. One is upside down and the other upright but together it feels balanced and doesn't make you feel disoriented. I am not sure exactly what it means but you feel that look of man is piercing --you feel that you cannot escape his reach. The intensity of look is downright uncomfortable. His intense glare does something to your nerves. Somehow eyes seem to tear at your unconscious beckoning you to step out and come into view--stepping out and coming into the 'light'.

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