Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review : Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern – 26 Nov 2014 to 15 March 2015

Exhibition Review : Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern – 26 Nov 2014 to 15 March 2015


The Conflict, Time, Photography exhibition at Tate Modern brings together photographers who have looked back at moments of conflict, from the seconds after a bomb is detonated to 100 years after a war has ended. Staged to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, this major exhibition goes beyond the familiar notions of war reportage and photojournalism, by seeking to understand how the passing of time inspires photographers  to reflect on past events.


The exhibition features conflicts from around the world, from the Crimean War up to the present day, but is concerned with revealing the impact of war over time, days, weeks, months and years after the fact. because the  works are ordered according to how long after the event they were created: images taken weeks after the end of the American Civil War are hung alongside those taken weeks after the atomic bombs fell on Japan in 1945.

Photographs from Nicaragua taken 25 years after the revolution are grouped with those taken in Vietnam 25 years after the fall of Saigon. The exhibition concludes with new and recent projects by British, German, Polish and Syrian photographers which reflect on the First World War a century after it began.

The exhibition time lines offer a interesting mix of photographic records which deal with the consistent theme that the consequences of conflict are immediate and far reaching. From the trauma of war can be seen in the eyes of Don McCullin’s Shell-shocked US Marine 1968 to  Shomei Tomatsu’s images of objects found in Nagasaki , the photographs offer a chilling reminder that for all our technological advances, war has been an unfortunate constant over  history and particularly in the last 100 years.


The  horrors of war are not just illustrated by the destruction of buildings and landscapes. It is  documented by seemingly ordinary events and objects captured by Stephen Shore’s account of displaced Jewish survivors of the Second World War in the Ukraine,


The exhibition offers the insight that the reminders of past conflicts are with us all the time and play an important part in many societies cultural make-up .


Different conflicts  reappear from multiple points in time throughout the exhibition, whether as rarely-seen historical images or recent photographic installations. Each offering us a particular viewpoint.  Whether it is tanks in Berlin at the onset of the Cold War or the more personal reminders


of  Nick Waplington’s 1993 close-ups of cell walls from a Prisoner of War camp in Wales.


As part of Conflict, Time, Photography, a special room within the exhibition has been guest-curated by the Archive of Modern Conflict. Drawing on their unique and fascinating private collection, the Archive presents a range of photographs, documents and other material to provide an alternative view of war and memory.


Artists included in the exhibition are:

Jules Andrieu, Pierre Antony-Thouret, Nobuyoshi Araki, George Barnard, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Luc Delahaye, Ken Domon, Roger Fenton, Ernst Friedrich, Jim Goldberg, Toshio Fukada, Kenji Ishiguro, Kikuji Kawada, An-My Lê, Jerzy Lewczyński, Emeric Lhuisset, Agata Madejska, Diana Matar, Eiichi Matsumoto, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Don McCullin, Susan Meiselas, Kenzo Nakajima, Simon Norfolk, João Penalva, Richard Peter, Walid Raad, Jo Ratcliffe, Sophie Ristelhueber, Julian Rosefeldt, Hrair Sarkissian, Michael Schmidt, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Indre Šerpytyte, Stephen Shore, Harry Shunk and János Kender, Taryn Simon, Shomei Tomatsu, Hiromi Tsuchida, Marc Vaux, Paul Virilio, Nick Waplington, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Sasaki Yuichiro.

The Tate Modern in this exhibition uses photography to record the immediate and historical effect of conflicts. Using timelines offers a view of the same conflicts from many different perspectives, it also offers an opportunity to contrast conflicts over time. It also illustrates that you can repair buildings and landscape but the psychological trauma can last a lifetime. This exhibition of the work of many top photographers offers something quite different in a year that has seen many conflict related exhibitions to coincide with the centenary of the First World War.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like to find out more or buy tickets to the exhibition, visit the Tate Modern website here

Conflict, Time, Photography
26 November 2014 – 15 March 2015
Tate Modern, The Eyal Ofer Galleries, Level 3
Admission £13.10 (£11.30 concessions) or £14.50 (£12.50 concessions) with Gift Aid donation

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