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Vision as Power
by Donovan Wylie
Oct 24 - Apr 21 2014
Imperial War Museum
London, SE1 6HZ
This new exhibition presents the photographs of Donovan Wylie. Wylie, a member of Magnum Photos, is renowned for his interrogation of the impact of modern military architecture on the landscape.
Vision as Power, the culmination of Wylie’s five year collaboration with IWM, brings together five separate projects, two of which are on public display for the first time. Together, photographs from The Maze, British Watchtowers, Green Zone, Outposts and Arctic reflect Wylie’s enduring interest in the concept of vision as power.
The Maze (2002) and British Watchtowers (2005 -2006) investigate the relationship between power, surveillance and control during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Green Zone – commissioned by IWM in 2008 – explores American defensive structures in Baghdad, Iraq. Outposts – commissioned by IWM in conjunction with the Bradford Fellowship in 2010 – is a study of Canadian military observation posts in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The exhibition also features Wylie’s most recent work Arctic (2013). Wylie’s studies of an isolated, unmanned radar station in the remote wastes of the Canadian Arctic address a subject which is steeped in invisibility, yet offers the potential to avoid conflict.
Vision as Power invites us to consider the impact of these powerful, yet vulnerable surveillance structures on the environment, the observer and the observed.
To coincide with the exhibition, IWM curators Hilary Roberts and Kathleen Palmer will lead a discussion exploring the blurring of the boundaries between documentary photography and art they each seek new perspectives on contemporary conflict.
Donovan Wylie: Vision as Power
Alternative Realities: Iraq and Other Conflicts