Military Photographer Captures Her Own Death

Adkins, Kirsten ORCID: 0000-0002-9907-6691 (2020) Military Photographer Captures Her Own Death. [Film / Video] (Unpublished)

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A military photographer was killed alongside four of her Afghan colleagues during a bomb disposal training exercise. The image and caption describing ‘the moment of her death’ was released two years later by the US military. The image represents the death of another un-named soldier and an orange and gold explosion against a blue sky. It operates according to an aesthetic interplay between process colours, cyan, magenta and yellow, reminiscent of summer days, and slow-motion cinematic explosions from 1970’s cult cinema. The image does not behave according to its descriptive caption. ‘Army photographer, captures her own death’ Army Photographer Captures Her Own Death, experiments with breaking and reformulating imagery. Its starting point is the screen capture of the photograph and text as described above. The imagery is broken down into its formal elements according to space, shape and colour. It is then reformed into a living montage comprised of frame by frame explosions juxtaposed with audio-visual documentation of an unfolding spring, blackbird song and cherry blossom against a blue sky. Hito Steyerl’s 2019 essay Medya: Autonomy of Images, forms a contextual basis for the film and performed paper . Steyerl questions the fidelity of the digital imagery. She describes ‘unintelligible’ criteria; shapes, colours, lines of random code and intermittent pulses of light. She recounts the story by the artist told by Rabbih Mroue of the man who was shot in the head. When he woke up, all he could see were shapes and colours. Army Photographer Captures Her Own Death also draws on contextual antecedents in Dada and bricolage, where ‘a synthesis is brought about and in that new form a new meaning or a new way emerges - which you can chase ad infinitum . With my intervention, the image is removed from its pre-existing whole, flattened and repurposed, and reformed to produce new collisions, new meanings and new ways of apprehending the image. ‘The unpleasant and pleasant should inexplicably overlap in a sort of beautiful, feverish madness, in the end imploding under an overwhelming number of interpretive possibilities . (Peter Fischli)

Item Type: Film / Video
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Kirsten Adkins
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 11:58
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 19:53

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