MyWar, Participation in an Age of War

  • 12 March 2010 - 30 May 2010

A radically personal look at war through the work of 12 international artists, MyWar investigates identity, participation and the reality of conflict in a digitally networked world. We live in an age of global conflicts, in which wars are common reality. Since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, war is no longer defined as a conflict between hostile states, but as a "war on terror", in order to justify state interventions. Expanding the definition of war in this way makes it increasingly unlikely to imagine a world beyond wars.

Today, war is omnipresent, in and through the media. Thanks to live broadcasts we can experience wars in real-time, and see the images of warfare sites in close-up view, often from an automated cruise missile or other war machines. War and violence have become part of our everyday life. They have penetrated society in many ways - from fashion to music, from film to television, and scenarios in computer games. War can therefore be regarded as a "mass culture of the 21st century".

For centuries there have been historical and contemporary examinations of war within the arts: from Francisco de Goya describing the atrocities of the Spanish war for independence in Desastres de la Guerra (1810-1814) or Otto Dix, reflecting his experiences as soldier in World War I in his series of 50 etchings Der Krieg (1924), to current artistic positions, reflecting and analysing the images of war. Several anti-war exhibitions have presented war and violence as a part of everyday life, and of the media.

MyWar, Participation in an Age of War not only aims to show how war, the media and world wide web are intertwined, but to show how participation, intervention and interaction have been emerging with the new tools of Web 2.0. In the age of a global networked culture, the exhibition poses the question; how have Web 2.0 communication tools changed ways of dealing with war experiences? In a time where truth is ambiguous, the 12 works here question how images are manipulated and interpreted, encouraging the visitor to engage with current discussions about war.

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