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Chromogenic print, photogram, mounted on aluminum; 23 minute DVD
Overall: 76.2 x 600 cm (30 x 236 1/4 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 2015.75
This photograph was made without a camera and uses one of the oldest photographic technologies—directly exposing photosensitive paper to light.
Uncomfortable with the role that war photography plays in propagating human suffering, Broomberg and Chanarin, when they were embedded with a British Army unit during the Afghanistan War, brought a roll of photosensitive paper instead of a camera. When a press-worthy event occurred, they exposed a six-meter-long section of the paper. The results are abstract photograms, unique images created by the temperature of the light at that moment in that place. The vertical bands, unintentional artifacts of handling and processing, nonetheless resemble measures or beats—space as a marker of time elapsing. The week the duo spent in Afghanistan was the deadliest week of the war thus far, but on their fifth day there, when the museum’s section of paper was exposed, no one was killed.
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