Vision as Power

Donovan Wylie (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Donovan Wylie, one of Britain’s leading contemporary photographers, explores the effects of modern-day military surveillance in Vision as Power. Straddling the lines between documentary and art photography, he presents a new perspective on how we view conflict and architecture. From British Watchtowers in Northern Ireland, to Outposts in Afghanistan and a Radar Station in the Canadian Arctic, Wylie reveals the impact of surveillance structures on landscapes, the environment, the observer and the observed. Born in Belfast in 1971, in the midst of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Wylie found himself drawn to photography from an early age. In 1989 he completed his first major photographic project published as a book, 32 Counties, based on a three month tour of Ireland documenting the contrasting landscapes of his homeland. Vision as Power brings together five separate projects of work: The Maze, British Watchtowers, Green
Zone, Outposts and Arctic, demonstrating Wylie’s interest in the subject of surveillance, points of change
and the ways in which conflict shapes environments and lives.

As an artist, Wylie explores the concept of vision as power in the architecture of contemporary conflict, revealing striking and unexpected similarities in different conflicts and contrasting landscapes. Wylie’s photographs are a testimony to the enduring impact of modern military observational structures, which continues even when the structures themselves have been removed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherImperial War Museum
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 24 Oct 2013
EventDonovan Wylie: Vision as Power - Imperial War Museum, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Oct 201321 Apr 2014


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  • North Warning System

    Wylie, D., 15 Dec 2014, World: Steidl Verlag. 40 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

  • Outposts

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

    Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

    Open Access

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