Conflict, Time, Photography
From the seconds after a bomb is detonated to a former scene of battle years after a war has ended, this moving exhibition focuses on the passing of time, tracing a diverse and poignant journey through over 150 years of conflict around the world, since the invention of photography.
In an innovative move, the works are ordered according to how long after the event they were created from moments, days and weeks to decades later. Photographs taken seven months after the fire bombing of Dresden are shown alongside those taken seven months after the end of the First Gulf War. Images made in Vietnam 25 years after the fall of Saigon are shown alongside those made in Nakasaki 25 years after the atomic bomb. The result is the chance to make never-before-made connections while viewing the legacy of war as artists and photographers have captured it in retrospect.
The immediate trauma of war can be seen in the eyes of Don McCullin’s Shell-shocked US Marine 1968, while the destruction of buildings and landscapes are documented by Simon Norfolk’s Afghanistan: Chronotopia 2001.
Different conflicts will also reappear from multiple points in time throughout the exhibition. The Second World War for example is addressed in Jerzy Lewczynski’s 1960 photographs of the Wolf’s Lair / Adolf Hitler’s War Headquarters, Shomei Tomatsu’s images of objects found in Nagasaki, Kikuji Kawada’s epic project The Map made in Hiroshima in the 1960s, Michael Schmidt’s Berlin streetscapes from 1980 and Nick Waplington’s 1993 close-ups of cell walls from a Prisoner of War camp in Wales.
The exhibition is staged to coincide with the 2014 centenary and concludes with new and recent projects by British, German, Polish and Syrian photographers which reflect on the First World War a century after it began.
Organised by Tate Modern, London in association with Museum Folkwang, Essen and Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
26 November 2014 – 15 March 2015
Bankside London SE1 9TG United Kingdom
Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–18.00
Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00
Closed 24–26 December
The Last Cosmology
November 5,2014–January 24, 2015
L. Parker Stephenson Photographs
764 Madison Avenue (between 65th-66th streets) New York, NY 10065
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm
The Last Cosmology
Artificial Moon Trial, Tokyo 1969
© Kikuji Kawada
The Michael Hoppen Gallery is proud to announce the first solo UK exhibition of Kikuji Kawada’s ‘The Last Cosmology’ series. Originally published in parts in the 1980s, it was compiled into a publication and solo exhibition in 1995. Part of Kawada’s "Catastrophe Trilogy," the chronicle seemingly ties together the dramas of the skies with the end of two historical eras on earth: the ‘Showa’ era with the death of the Emperor in Japan and the 20th century.
Before modern science, people presumed there was a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events of the human world. The ‘Last Cosmology’ reveals a fleeting empathy for this ancient astrology and a fascination with the firmament. Inspired by the apocalyptic sky-scapes of the painter Emil Nolde, Kawada became preoccupied with photographing abnormal and catastrophic weather. In his own words: “It is then that I imagine the era and myself as an implicitly intermingling catastrophe and I want to spy on the depths of a multihued heart that is like a Karman vortex”.
From November 2014, Kawada’s best known project ‘The Map’, will be shown at Tate Modern, as part of their ‘Conflict, Time, Photography’ exhibition. Originally published in 1965, the series documents the aftermath of the atomic bomb and the war in Japan (beyond meaning, invisible violence, widespread destruction and human loss). At first glance ‘Last Cosmology’ and ‘The Map’ are inherently different bodies of work. ‘The Map’ concentrates on surface, the stains burnt into the ceiling of the Hiroshima a-bomb dome and the detritus of occupation; while ‘Last Cosmology’ looks to the extra-terrestrial as a cypher for earthly events. Both books however share a narrative that is both personal and universal. Although rooted in the Japanese experience, they are essays on the human condition.
Born in the Ibaraki Prefecture in 1933, Kikuji Kawada is a renowned Japanese photographer. He co-founded the VIVO collective in 1959 with Akira Sato, Eikoh Hosoe, Ikko Narahara, Akira Tanno and Shomei Tomatsu. He had his first solo exhibition in the same year, before exhibiting ‘The Map’ in 1961 at Fuji Photo Salon in Tokyo. Kawada taught photography at the Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1967. He was also, notably, one of the fifteen artists selected for the “New Japanese Photography” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1974. In 2011 Kawada received a lifetime achievement award from the Photographic Society of Japan, underscoring his international and national acclaim.
01.12.14 - 23.01.15
The Michael Hoppen Gallery
3 Jubilee Place,London SW3 3TD
Monday-Friday: 10.30am - 6pm
Saturday: 10.30am - 5pm