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I.E.D.: War in Iraq
     

I.E.D.: War in Iraq

by David Levinthal
 
“So clever, so thematically complicated are David Levinthal's artistic photographs one could mistake them for intellectual riddles.”
—Roger Rosenblatt

Dealing with war in any context is always a difficult and often problematic venture. In I.E.D., acclaimed photographer David Levinthal uses toy soldiers and plastic Humvees to

Overview

“So clever, so thematically complicated are David Levinthal's artistic photographs one could mistake them for intellectual riddles.”
—Roger Rosenblatt

Dealing with war in any context is always a difficult and often problematic venture. In I.E.D., acclaimed photographer David Levinthal uses toy soldiers and plastic Humvees to attempt to explore and understand the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

Why simulate a war with toys when it is already so familiar to us through daily news broadcasts, and so well documented by photojournalists and soldier-generated cell-phone imagery? In part is it because this book is not just a recreation of the war in Iraq; it is also a commentary about our society and how it is imaging and imagining a war through the use of such direct and immediate signifiers. Never before has there been an instance of such a massive production of toys directly related to a current and unresolved conflict.

Levinthal has always viewed toys as both an abstraction and as a tool by which a society and a culture socializes itself. The choice of which and what kind of toys are created, how they are posed, and what they are attempting to represent reflects assumptions about a society’s views. I.E.D. is an attempt to look at these questions using the canvas of the war in Iraq, and the new and frightening aspects of this conflict. The acronym I.E.D. (improvised explosive device), unknown to most until just a few years ago, is now a part of our daily vocabulary. By abstracting what is already distant and foreign, Levinthal brings a new perspective to the discourse about this war, going beyond reality to create a new and perhaps more immediate presence.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781576874882
Publisher:
powerHouse Books
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
11.22(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

David Levinthal, born in San Francisco in 1949, has been working with toy figures and tableaux as the subject matter for his artwork since 1972. He is the photographer and coauthor, with Garry Trudeau, of Hitler Moves East, originally published in 1977. In January of 1997, the International Center of Photography presented a survey of Levinthal’s work from 1975 through 1996. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and was named a 1995 Guggenheim Fellow, among other accolades His work is included in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, and The Menil Collection.

David Stanford edits the military blog The Sandbox with Garry Trudeau on Doonesbury.com, publishing dispatches from soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, returning troops, and home-front spouses and parents.

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