PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Decode Books

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 9.5 x 12 in. / 104 pgs / 39 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
No longer our product

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2011 p. 90   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780983394204 TRADE
List Price: $60.00 CDN $70.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

BROWSE THE 2022 MID WINTER CATALOG

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Preview our Mid-Winter 2022 catalog, featuring new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

DECODE BOOKS

Suzanne Opton: Soldier, Many Wars

Text by Phillip Prodger, Ann Jones.

Suzanne Opton: Soldier, Many WarsIn the two series collected in this volume, Soldierand Many Wars, photographer Suzanne Opton (born 1954) photographs a range of American soldiers close up, with their heads resting on tabletops, and American veterans draped in cloth blankets. The subjects of the Soldier series are all young, active-duty soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the photographs were presented as billboards in nine American cities from 2008 through 2010. Reviewing them for The New York Times, photography critic Vince Aletti wrote: “The posture is vulnerable and startlingly intimate, as if these young men and women were facing someone in bed or on a stretcher... Opton catches soldiers both on guard and off, looking out and inward simultaneously, and we can only imagine what they're thinking, what they've done, and what they dread.” The project received extensive press coverage and even sparked a heated debate about America's image of the military. The Many Wars series presents portraits of veterans from American wars over the past 70 years. Through interviews by the photographer, we learn how the wars have affected their lives. Both bodies of work were selected by Martin Paar for the Brighton Photo Biennial in 2010.

"For the Soldier portraits, sitters were given the simple direction to sit in a chair and lay their head on a table. The reason this particular pose was selected is not explained, and the action must have been baffling to those depicted. Yet the interpretation of the unusual instruction gives the resulting pictures their power."

Phillip Prodger, excerpted from Fallen in Suzanne Opton: Soldier, Many Wars. Featured image, Soldier: Pry, 210 days in Afghanistan is also reproduced from the book.

Suzanne Opton: Soldier, Many Wars

FROM THE BOOK
"That’s the startling thing--one of the many memorable things--about Opton's soldiers. They do not look alike. In this collection, some are clad in nondescript fabrics, suggesting a cloak or perhaps some timeless uniform, while others merely lay their naked heads, horizontally, before us. At rest? At peace? Dead? It has been suggested that Opton is not a proper war photographer--which, as far as I know, she does not claim to be--because her images are nothing like the action-packed 'kinetic' combat photos we have grown accustomed to. Her stripped-down images omit the context we seem to need as viewers; without the captions--Soldier So-and-so--we wouldn't know what we are looking at soldiers. Without the uniforms and guns, without the tanks or planes in the background, we might think we are looking at ordinary people. Which, of course, we are."

Ann Jones, excerpted from Soldiers: Who Are They? in Suzanne Opton: Soldier, Many Wars.

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