Project Statement: Battlegrounds
My current work examines war and history. Whether I re-imagine a historic battle or photograph a contemporary war artifact, my interest lies in exposing the ambiguity of photographic meaning and the problems with how history gets told.
Our national identity is shaped by warfare. We build myths, histories and fantasies around war. We celebrate it; we mourn it, and we try to comprehend it. Often American civilians look at photographs of wars fought overseas to better understand conflict, to see in the still imagery the gritty reality of violence. Sometimes, however, photography fails to provide us with a clear vision of war. Instead, it reminds us of the distance between safety and conflict. Despite the medium’s shortcomings, it is still important to look at war.
In my photographic series Battlegrounds, I depict the iconography of war. I also consider how my own understanding of war (as an American civilian) is mediated through images. Thus, I re-photograph preexisting pictures of battlegrounds in order to show how the material elements of a photograph influence my perception. The war I see is empty, dislocated, and hazy. These images offer a fragile vision of human experience and damaged landscape.