Friday, December 11, 2009

Paolo Ventura and military censorship

September 24, 2009—Paolo Ventura’s work is featured in the group show "Manipulating Reality" at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. 

Paolo Ventura’s sequence of photographs seem like all-too-familiar scenes of U.S. troops in action in Iraq, but against the background of the military censorship rules that apply to embedded reporters, they raise questions about the authencity of modern war reporting and how we have become inured to repetitive images, failing perhaps to look at them as closely as we should. These photographs, at first remarkably plausible, are all artfully constructed fictions put together by the Italian-born artist in his New York studio, using “action-man” style dummies and minutely modeled sets.

The work of Paolo Ventura focuses on the painful memory of the recent war in Iraq, reconstructing wartime scenarios using puppets and dummies dressed as soldiers. He uses ambiguity and the alteration of reality to comment on the real manipulation of “truth” in reports and pictures of the war carried in the media. 


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