San Francisco

Michal Rovner

Friends of Photography/Ansel Adams Center

Unlike many historical “birthdays” (Pearl Harbor Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day), the first anniversary of the beginning of the Gulf War, on January 15, inspired few commemorative exhibitions, In “Decoy—The Gulf War,” Israeli artist Michal Rovner reminds us why that is, despite the overwhelming popularity of Operation Desert Storm and the “victory” it brought about. The seven works in this show were made by photographing videotape images of the war as it appeared daily, even hourly, on television. Enlarged substantially, these pictures show shadowy figures in an almost nonexistent landscape, uncomfortably recalling the vague, sketchy, visual reporting of one of the most rapidly devastating wars of the modern era. Despite the constant news bulletins (many of them from the enemy’s capital city), the U.S. government’s censorship of the media, coupled with the physical difficulties

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