Christine Spengler

L'Espace Photographique

With time and forgetting, all war photographs probably become antiwar photos. But Christine Spengler’s black and white “witnesses,” as she calls them, hardly need to wait for the allegiances and enthusiasms of the moment to fade. Not that these are atrocity pictures: in this retrospective exhibit, entitled “De la Guerre et du Rêve” (Of war and dreaming), she has spared us the blood and gore, the mangled bodies and leveled buildings, the violence, the fear, the hysteria. Even the soldiers are scarce, and the great leaders nonexistent. No, hers is the view from between the battles, when life, such as it is, goes on, when Irish youngsters in their carnival hats are stopped and searched by a British soldier (Belfast, 1972), when Cambodian boys bob in the waves on empty shell casings (Mekong River, 1974), when Iranian women in the shroudlike chadors go to an amusement park, a bridal boutique,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.