Thiswork represents one of the most influential ones to have emerged inthe 3 decades or so. The artists develops a decoratively stagedtransparencies, exhibited in light boxes. The pictures conjureinstances of strange timbre, combining art historical events withunderstated conceptual mechanisms and juxtapositions to relay anevaluation of modern living. Intricate fictional sceneries resemblingzombie like horror movies or even painting of war, are well capturedwithin this work. The pictures are taken in different parts depictinga battlefield where soldiers rising from the dead. On the other hand,the men portray a diverse range of emotional retorts to newfoundperfection, from confusion to humor. In a rather bizarre paradox, thetroops seem to be interested with interpersonal relations rather thanhistorical denotation of their own acts. This paper will look tooutline some of the meanings within this work. The ethicalresponsibilities of the subject, viewer and producer will beeffectively captured [ CITATION Avi92 l 1033 ].
Theworks basically merges conventions from horror and war films withhistorical painting of prior eras. The picture depicts a visionwhereby a Red Army patrol was ambushed in Afghanistan in the winterof 1986. The photo is quite important in relaying the previousimpacts of war. Another of his work “mimic” also exemplify lightbox transparency. In the photograph, a white couple walks along anAsian man. While overtaking the Asian man, the boyfriend makes aracist gesture, holding the middle finger close to his eyes. Thoughit creates social tensions, the photograph actually illustrates realhappenings within the society. Both these works are based on realism.
Regardingethical issues, the picture presented are socially sound consideringboth the subject and the producer. The work only tries to depicthistorical happenings which in real sense do not exit. In otherwords, the photograph is just a reflection of various acts of war butnot specific to any. It also does not seem to violate any person’sright. As a matter of fact, the work outlines the various injusticesexperienced in war tone areas. Curbing wars need actual real measureson the same. Contrary to Wall’s intentions, Susan Sonntag critiquesthe image viewing it as the opposite to a document. In accordance toher notions, the image is a core critique of male violence as well assenselessness of war [ CITATION Sus02 l 1033 ].Withthe directness of this image, it tends to draw critiques both inpositive and negative aspects. However, the image exemplifies thereal happenings within battlegrounds. A soldier dies by his sword,and it is not uncommon to see them smiling even as they die. If thepicture were moderated any further then probably the real meaningbehind the image would have been lost. It therefore attains adequatebalance exemplifying the real happenings within battlefields [ CITATION Wol09 l 1033 ].
Therather bizarre paradox entailed within the image, is the act of thetroops. They seem to be interested with interpersonal relationsrather than historical denotation of their own acts. The image isdrawn from happenings of war during this era. In the 1980s, Russianshad invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to occupy the nation. Landmines, guerilla tactics and sabotage were used by the resistinggroups during these wars. As a result many soldiers as well ascivilians were slayed. Wall’s image depicts such acts. The culturalsetting with which the image envisages portrays acts of war. Inaddition to that, acts of war during this era were quite broad. Eventhough it seems uncouth, wars were a symbol of greed for power.Nations wanted to be dominant in their respective boundaries [ CITATION Jef89 l 1033 ].
Thesoldiers display diverse reactions to their fate and wounds i.e.surprised, frozen, shock but still humorous. The injuries aregraphic, disturbing and explicit. In one instance, a soldier holdshis head lamenting his fate. His face ripped off and jaw exposed [ CITATION Cro93 l 1033 ].The visuals are actual events that occur in war fields. Thoughthey may seem quite explicit, the images are quite vital indiscussing the impacts of war. Whether in the current or historicalera, war cannot be fathomed.
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Crow, T. (1993). Profane Illuminations: Social History and the Art of Jeff Wall," Artforum. Profane Illuminations: Social History and the Art of Jeff Wall," Artforum, 67-68.
Sontag, S. (2002, December 9). Looking at War. Retrieved from Looking at War: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/12/09/looking-at-war
Wall, J. (1989). Dead Troops Talk. Distributed Art Pub Inc.
Wolfpeterson. (2009, March 9). PHOTO-DOCUMENTATION FROM THE FIELD. Retrieved from PHOTO-DOCUMENTATION FROM THE FIELD: https://photodocumentationfromthefield.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/jeff-walls-dead-troops-talk/