The Stories Images Tell: Afghanistan in 2008
A solo exhibition of works by Katie Farkas, senior in the Department of Art and Art History. There will be a public reception on September 6, 3:00pm - 5:00pm.
How do images become iconic representations of a period of time? What are the ethics of photojournalism and photographing war? What role do media companies and publishing companies play in what gets published? What role does the photographer play and what role does the individual or subject of the image play? How does the general public get images and how do they work to tell the story of war and the philosophical and ethical boundaries that apply? Historically, photography has been looked at as a primary source, it captures the reality of an event and its objective.
But the photographer has a lot of play in who and what is included in the images and how it is included that can drastically change the meaning. The way most people get images today is through the internet or social media. It surrounds us, all day every day. But do you really even choose what media you consume? And are the images that are published and shared telling you the whole truth? Through my own work, I wanted to reflect on 2008 in Afghanistan, reflect on the hundreds of images I looked at, the news articles and headlines I’ve read through, and where I was during that year. My goal is to explore how images of The War on Terror intersected with my life and experiences in 2008. The War on Terror as a whole is, for me, this intangible dark cloud that comes in and out of view. It was in and out of the media spotlight throughout my entire childhood. Through the following pieces, I highlight events in Afghanistan and pair them with events in my childhood. It’s confusing and these remaining questions and confusion are what I show in my pieces through abstraction, variation of mark and texture, and the loose suggestion of figures and text.
On the other hand, I wanted the pieces to have this sense of ambiguity and uncertainty. Who are the individuals within the work? Do they have any relation to the text? Is that relationship even important to the viewer? After researching how images can be read by a viewer and who controls what images are shown and what context they are placed in and what captions and articles and images are paired together and how that can change the meaning or intention of an image, I wanted to experiment with my own work and these pieces are the result of that.