Conflict, Time, Photography
26 November 2014 – 15 March 2015
From Dresden to Kabul to Saigon, locales are captured in the moments, weeks and decades after they were the centre of battle.
Since the invention of photography, images have been used to document the aftermath of conflict. This might include the immediate seconds following the explosion of a bomb or a city captured as it exists 25 years after it was destroyed by battle. Included here are examples from the World, Gulf and Vietnam Wars which have been arranged – rather innovatively – according to how long after the event they were created.
Several conflicts reappear from multiple points in time; for example the Second World War haunts Jerzy Lewczynski’s 1960s photographs of Adolf Hitler’s War Headquarters in Germany, as well as Nick Waplington’s 1993 close-ups of cell walls from a Prisoner of War camp in Wales.
In the 1960s Shomei Tomatsu took on a magazine assignment to photograph the reconstruction of Nagasaki. The Japanese nation had tried to block out the trauma of the atomic bombing, but Tomatsu's pictures forced many to reevaluate their history. The series captures objects he found around the city, and included here is one of the most poignant and disturbing images – a steel helmet with a skull bone fused to the inside as a result of the atomic bomb.