Iraq I Perspectives I Windows

National Exhibition Register

  • Iraq I Perspectives I Windows
    Benjamin Lowy Iraq I Perspectives I Windows, 2003-2008
    Medium
    Inkjet print
    Dimensions
    610 x 870mm
    Image Credit
    IMAGE Courtesy and © the artist

About the exhibition

“My only view of Iraq was through inches-thick bulletproof windows.” In July 2005, I was being driven from an assignment—an endeavour that took two cars and four heavily armed Iraqi guards—when my mother called. She asked me if I had the chance to go out with Iraqis, to wander through Baghdad. I told her that this scenario was near to impossible, if not dangerous for someone like me: tall, white, and bald. I explained that I couldn't go anywhere without armed protection; that Iraq was a land of blast walls and barbed wire fences. Her response was one of incredulousness. She had never seen any photographs or news reports illustrating what I described. I made my first image of a concrete blast wall through the window of my armoured car that day.

‘Iraq | Perspectives I Windows’ grew immediately out of that conversation and as a response to what I felt was both the general apathy and the inability of people in the United States to comprehend life during the Iraq War. Confronted by a level of violence so high that walking on the streets to photograph was tantamount to suicidal behaviour, I found myself confined to working with American soldiers, spending most of my time going on various missions in armoured Humvees. My only view of Iraq was through inches- thick bulletproof windows. I wondered if Iraqis saw me through these windows.

I never knew the answer to that, but I knew that they saw the monstrous convoys of Humvees coming through their neighbourhoods. Some stared, some jeered, some cheered, some just went about their business, indifferent to the tons of destructive force driving by. This vantage on the Iraqi street is one rarely seen by the public, but it is the most common point of view for U.S. soldiers.

These images are not intimate - they reflect a distant and detached perspective on a country that is so empty, so desolate, in a situation so dire. The windows represent a barrier that impedes dialogue. The pictures illustrate a fragment of Iraqi daily life taken by a transient passenger in a Humvee; yet they are a window to a world where work, play, tension, grief, survival and everything in between is as familiar as the events of our own daily lives. All of the photographs in this series were taken over a six-year period, from 2003 to 2008.

Benjamin Lowy

Artists and Curator

Curator
Head On Photo Festival
Artists

Benjamin Lowy

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/03/2017 - 01/03/2019
Exhibition size
Under 50 sq or running metres
Originating state
NSW
Organised by
Head On Photo Festival
Price
$2,000 (exc. freight)
Web Site
https://www.headon.com.au/exhibitions/iraq-perspectives-windows
Accompanying materials available
Interpretative/Didactic Panels
Other materials
16 unmounted & unframed inkjet prints 610 x 870mm Package: 1/1 
50 x 91 x 640mm
Primary contact
Tony Nolan
Organisation
Head On Photo Festival
Phone
02 9665 5865
E-mail
tony@headon.com.au
Secondary contact
lauran Vohmann
E-mail
Lauran@headon.com.au