The subtitle of the current show at the Stephen Daiter Gallery, Collateral Damage, is The Human Face of War, but an equally appropriate title might be Humanity in Spite of War. Out of some of the most violent and horrific moments, the four photographers whose work is exhibited in this show draw empathetic attention to atrocities associated with war—ones that are often left un-discussed by the widespread media today.
With few exceptions, the photographs in this very moving and revealing show are primarily associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Vincent Cianni’s series about gay servicemen, and the affects of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” includes images of soldiers from earlier conflicts, and there is also a small selection of photographs from the war in Vietnam. The Vietnam photos serve primarily to set a context. The catalogue includes a quote by Henry James from 1915 in response to trench warfare. He said, “The war has used up words.” This quote along with the Vietnam photos, are painful reminders that despite the passing of time, the realities and pains of war have not changed.
Collateral Damage: The Human Face of War. On view from September 7 through December 1, 2012. Photographs by Samantha Appelton, Vincent Cianni, Ashley Gilbertson and Stephanie Sinclair.
Please join the gallery for a reception on September 23 from 10am – 1pm, with the artists Samantha Appleton and Vincent Cianni. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.
Gallery proceeds from the sales of prints in the exhibition will benefit post-traumatic stress support groups such as Wounded Warriors. In the case of sales of prints from the Gays in the Military series, funds will be sent to the Service members Legal Defense Network, an organization that advocates for LGBT personnel.
Mary DeYoe is a poet and freelance arts writer. She lives in Chicago.