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CONFLICT: Art and War - Contemporary Art Society

Exhibition preview

A POWERFUL group of works comprise the Contemporary Art Society’s latest thought-provoking display, CONFLICT: Art and War, which runs from April 4 to June 27, 2014.

The display presents ten artists who probe themes of conflict, destruction and war. The exhibition is curated by Midge Palley, art collector and Contemporary Art Society Patron.

CONFLICT: Art and War brings together internationally renowned contemporary artists for the first time, with works spanning different media including photography, works on paper, moving image and sculpture.

Featured artists include Pio Abad, Broomberg and Chanarin, Adela Jusic, Goncalo Mabunda, Richard Mosse, Shirin Neshat, Mark Neville and Alfred Tarazi.

Investigating the political, geographical and social aspects of war, the works on display respond to the theme from various outlooks, presenting direct testimonials, personal experiences or references to historical moments.

Representing Ireland at the 55th Venice Biennale last summer, Richard Mosse explores the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s haunting landscape in his photograph, Poison Glenn (2012). Mosse employs infrared Aerochrome film (used by the military to detect camouflaged installations from the air) to make visible the undocumented wars of conflicting groups hidden within the war-ravaged landscape.

Shirin Neshat’s internationally revered black and white photography superimposed with farsi calligraphy probes the social and political dimensions of the lives of Muslim women in contemporary society and the conflicts they encounter.

Responding to the violence of Mozambique’s civil war, Goncalo Mabunda builds anthropomorphic sculptures with firearms and objects of destruction. These forms open up a dialogue between traditional African art and the commentary on Mabunda’s own childhood experience of war.

Photographer and film maker, Mark Neville was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum and Firstsite in Colchester in 2010, and spent time embedded with the 16 Air Assault Brigade in Helmand Province. His photographic work portrays the reality of life on Christmas Day at a front line check point.

Other works on display include David Scherman’s iconic photograph of Lee Miller in Hitler’s bath tub, Munich (1945), as well as works on paper by duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, based on Bertolt Brecht’s 1955 book The War Primer.

The original images and accompanying texts have been overlaid with silkscreened shapes that reference photographs of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sourced from the Internet.

Image: Mark Neville, Child, Jacket, Slaughtered Goat, Sweets, Painted Nails, Xmas Day, Helmand, 2010. Courtesy of the artist and the Imperial War Museum.

Opening Times: Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 5pm.

Contemporary Art Society, 59 Central Street, London, EC1V 3AF

Tel: +44 (0)20 7017 8400