To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Nailya Alexander Gallery presents two photographic exhibitions Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict by Lori Grinker (March 2 – 26, 2005) and Remembering WWII images by Soviet photographers (March 29 – April 30, 2005).
Lori Grinker's Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict is a fifteen‐year project documenting the physical and psychological wounds of frontline war veterans from World War I to the war in Iraq. With support from magazine assignments and grants, Lori began seeking out veterans’ stories around the world – from Eritrea to El Salvador, from Pakistan to Russia‐ a journey that eventually took her to over thirty countries: “There I met the men, women, and children who walked the fields and survived, often with damaged bodies and scarred lives, who emerged with new ideologies, conflicts, questions, and emotions, with the special knowledge of the killer, the hero, and the defeated. In the aftermath of war, one culture mirrored another, it made no difference if one had been in a ‘bad’ war or a ‘good’ war, justified or unjustified, on the winning or losing side.” The artist’s challenge was to make photographs that would transcend the personal tragedy of these individuals to become something universally symbolic and understood.
The exhibition is comprised of eleven large scale color photographs and is accompanied by the artist’s recent book of the same title, which includes her interviews with the veterans (de.MO 2005). Afterwar illuminates our culture of war and is especially relevant amidst the ongoing carnage in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya, Columbia, Congo, Kashmir, the Middle East, and Sudan. Through the exhibition we hope to encourage viewers to reflect upon the complex social, economic, and political conditions of conflict. As Lori puts it: “We watch the reports from the front on television as if it were a spectator sport. But they suffer for us. They are our sacrificial lambs. Through this project, I hope their images and words will serve as a powerful reminder of the wastefulness of war.”