Conflict, rezoned

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s exhibition at the Goodman Gallery re-examines past narratives.
Posted 24 Jan 11 By Design Indaba Creative Work / Design News Comments

The Broomberg & Chanarin exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg welcomes back South African born photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, who are now based in the UK.

Running until 12 February 2011, the exhibition comprises three series of photographs produced by the duo in the past four years. These are People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground (2010), The Day Nobody Died (2008) and The Red House (2007), with all the work chronicling a past narrative.

People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground is described as hauntingly beautiful and engagingly uncanny, and concerns itself with protests, funerals and acts of terrorism as if things of everyday life. The Red House is a series of 27 photographs of wall drawings and graphic marks made by Kurdish prisoners held in the former headquarters of Saddam Hussein’s Ba'athist party in northern Iraq.

The Day Nobody Died was realised by Broomberg and Chanarin in June 2008 during a trip to Afghanistan, where they were embedded with British Army units on the front line in Helmand Province, arriving during the deadliest month of the war. Broomberg and Chanarin turned an armoured vehicle into a temporary darkroom, producing a series of peculiar abstract forms modulated by the heat and light, presenting an alternative to the photographic documentation of war.