"Not since Goya has anyone portrayed war like Philip Jones Griffiths"
–Henri Cartier Bresson
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Philip Jones Griffiths' has produced unforgettable photographs for over five decades on the front lines of world conflict. Tackling love, death, frivolity, politics and violence, Griffiths' photographs comment profoundly on virtually every aspect of human emotion. The exhibition traces Griffiths compelling journey through the British presence in Northern Ireland, colonialism in Rhodesia, the Algerian & Yom Kippur wars, the Vietnam War, and, both in the United States and in Viet Nam, the post-war era. It is a powerful collection of black-and-white photographs presented in installation format in association with Philip Jones Griffiths, Magnum Photos, Trolley Books, Artists for Humanity and Duggal Visual Solutions. Curated by George Carrano.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Philip Jones Griffiths, born in Rhuddlan, Wales photographed for the Manchester Guardian. In 1961 he became a full-time freelancer for the London Observer. He covered the Alegerian War in 1962 then became based in Central Africa, moving from there to Asia. He photographed in Vietnam from 1966-1968. He went back to Vietnam in 1970. Jones Griffiths became a member of the Magnum agency in 1971 and served as President from 1980-1985. His photographs have appeared in every major magazine in the world. Griffiths, who has exhibited widely in the US and Europe has continued to work for Life and National Geographic on such stories about buddhism in Cambodia, drought in India, poverty in Texas, the re-greening of Vietnam, and the legacy of the war in Kuwait.
Griffiths is perhaps best known for his seminal Vietnam Inc., generally regarded as one of the finest collections of photographs to come out of that long war. Vietnam Inc. crystallized public opinion and was essential in shaping Western misgivings about the US involvement in Vietnam and ultimately helping to bring the war to an end. Griffiths' images were some of the first to clearly show the mismatch of American soldiers in a place that they didn't belong. He felt that America had become lost in a conflict run by a government which had lost its perspective about its place in the world. Ultimately, he showed the public the real horrors of the Vietnam War. The outcome of three years of reporting, Vietnam Inc. is one of the most detailed surveys of any conflict, and its effectiveness depends also on the author's personal layout and commentaries, both matter of fact and darkly ironic.
"The problem with photography is that it can decontextualize war. What does a picture of a wounded body, or a mother clasping her wounded child mean? Why is it happeneing? I want to know that. I'm not satisfied just photographing little sorts of visual climaxes to a conflict. I want to know what led up to it and what's going to happen next. I cannot believe in the sort of fireman approach to doing this kind of work - just automatically going to the next war not knowing where you are, what the background or the history is. It's like watching a movie with the house lights on and everbody is talking. It seems to me that you're losing such a valuable opportunity to learn the truth of what's happening." - Philip Jones Griffiths
About the Prints: Seventy Eight (78) Archival Inkjet Prints
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