Topography Of War (Topographies De La Guerre)

Donovan Wylie (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Joint Exhibition at Le BAL , Paris including works from Wylie's Outposts project.

Donovan Wylie, original photographer Irish (born 1971), became known by
a subject on the disused site of The Maze, prison built from 1976 by the government British in the vicinity of Belfast. He had documented these buildings, in the process of being dismantled, according to the principles of anonymity and disorientation which had governed its conception. We finds this method in the dedicated work to the British Watchtowers positioned at the top hills between Southern Ireland and Ireland North. Following the Saint-Andrews agreements,
the specter of a bloody war receding of the region, the British army decided to dismantle these observation towers which allowed to lock the border. Donovan Wylie directs that elements of these infrastructures, far to be destroyed, are reinstalled on a new theater of operations, Afghanistan. This discovery gives rise to the Outposts series: same panoptic structures, same watchtowers lined up like so many sentries on mountains of similar altitude but in a world other. In the age of blind conflict, these towers recall archaic devices specific to antediluvian war scenarios

The photographs and videos exhibited here deliberately leave aside confrontation, body, collapse, injury, death. The exhibition thus brings together several bodies of work produced after 2000, which share a clear, explicit documentary ambition: a determined choice to display war in a totally disembodied manner, focusing rather on the sites, the positions, the geological or built spaces.

In terms of military strategy, these iconographic choices coincide with the increased use of simulation techniques and the spread of long-range weaponry, but also with the military's media censorship and the virtual impossibility for photographers and video-makers to operate freely on the ground.

Artists exhibiting were Paola de Pietri , Jananne Al-Ani , Jo Ractliffe , An-My Lê ,
Harun Farocki , Donovan Wylie , Till Roeskens , Eyal Weizman et Luc Delahaye
Walid Raad ,Collateral murder (wikileaks)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Sept 2011
EventTopography Of War - Le BAL, Paris, France
Duration: 17 Sept 201118 Dec 2011


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  • Outposts

    Wylie, D., 27 Oct 2011, World: Steidl Verlag. 64 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

    Open Access

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