This project revolved around a converging trio of consequential events: the War in Iraq, the War on Terror, and the 2004 re-election of George W. Bush. Implicit in the intent of these images was a contemplation of the history of photographic images of war, one of the staples of photography since its infancy in the mid-19th century.
In a country with an all-volunteer army, visual traces of war were nearly invisible, with a populace largely content to ignore the war’s violent consequences. Although there are oblique references in the series to the stereotypical images of assembly, ceremony, national mobilization and destruction that we associate with war, I was looking as much for the absence of the effects of war as I spent time on the periphery of events and places of some significance to what was going on overseas: military towns, National Guard installations, war memorials, New York City during the 2004 Republican National Convention, Washington, D.C. in the last days before the 2004 Presidential election, etc.
The series depicts a populace that has been both psychologically manipulated and dumbed down in order to passively accept the crimes being committed daily in its name, including the brazen theft of its treasure. The images reveal a surrender that was emblematic of the passive and pliable culture of that American moment. SEE RELATED FILM