Union Gallery

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MAin Space

MyWar: Participation in an Age of Conflict
Dunne & Raby, Harun Farocki, Milica Tomic
January 15 - February 12, 2011
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, January 15 - April 10, 2011 *
Joseph DeLappe, Harrell Fletcher, Oliver Laric, Renzo Martens, SWAMP,
Thompson & Craighead, and Sarah Vanagt

Reception: January 23, 3-4:30pm at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Union Gallery Extended Hours: We will be open Sunday, January 23 between 3:15-4:30

Milica Tomic's photograph
Milica Tomic, One Day, photograph, 2009


Taking a radically personal look at conflict in the digital age, MyWar examines war through the work of 10 international artists. Their art investigates the changing experience of conflict at a time when digital networking has transformed the way we receive and respond to information. MyWar attempts to locate the moral implications of war in this era of diffuse global unrest.

Dunne & Raby
Dunne & Raby, Huggable Mushroom Cloud, fabric, 2004/2005

The exhibition follows two threads. In the first, the artists adopt a radically individual approach to war. Renzo Martens’ Episode I (2004) reflects on the narcissism of news media when, amidst a war zone, the artist turns the camera onto himself to ask the war’s victims and participants, not what is happening to them, but what they think of him. Other works in this thread articulate a longing for personal connection and empathy in a networked world: in Harrell Fletcher’s Humans at War (2005), the artist directs a real life social networking exercise in which students connect with people with war memories.

Harun Farocki, Immersion, video projection, 2009

In the second thread of the exhibition, artists engage with the ways web technologies infiltrate and influence global wars. By folding the names of real war casualties into the virtual space of the America’s Army online recruiting game, Joseph DeLappe’s dead-in-iraq (2004) counteracts the anonymity of a mediatized war and its unknown victims. And computer-aided trauma therapy for veterans is addressed by Harun Farocki. His film Immersion (2009) poses the question: can the mental effects of warfare be ameliorated through game technologies?

This exhibition is organised and toured by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creativity), Liverpool, UK and Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Oldenburg, Germany in cooperation with ISEA2010 RUHR, Germany and curated by Andreas Broeckmann, Heather Corcoran and Sabine Himmelsbach. MyWar is presented with the support of the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, Queen’s University, the Ontario Arts Council (an agency of the Government of Ontario), the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Kingston Arts Council and the City of Kingston through the City of Kingston Arts Fund. We thank the Agnes Etherington Art Centre for their collaboration in presenting MyWar.