ARTIST'S STATEMENT / Christo Doherty

More than twenty years have elapsed since the end of South Africa's "Border War" but the memory of the conflict remains a festering wound in the national psyche. Although it was South Africa's longest war, the savagery of the conflict was kept hidden from the public by stringent control of information, particularly images, which were censored to prevent public understanding of the extent of the war that South African forces waged across the Namibia/Angola border between 1966 and 1989.
This exhibition investigates the memory of the South African "Border War" through the creation of "constructed photographs" based upon specific examples of photographic images from the media coverage of the time.
These photographs are exhibited as a transactive intervention intended to challenge the growing public discourse around the memory and implications of the war. The exhibition explores the emotional consequences of the war for the young white conscripts who were sent to fight in a war that was never properly explained or justified to them and which many were never able to talk about subsequently.
At the same time, the project also aims to develop a meditation on the possibilities of "constructed" photography as a complex and mediated art form in South Africa.
Documentary realism has dominated South African photography for decades; but these photographs investigate the power of constructed images for exploring the traumatic memory of the distant events that continue to resonate in South African experience.; The construction of these images was a collaborative effort that brought together a diverse group of creative individuals.

The key contributors to the project were:

Tony Collins / Model and Landscape Construction;
Stevin Henn / Military Vehicle Construction;
Kate Blackman / Make Up;
Michael Lewis / Studio Photography and Lighting;
Vincent Truter / Graphic Design

BOS series

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Galerie Eric & Valérie GALEA is an art gallery based in Avignon. It offers a great selection of artworks for sale by many emerging and established artists.
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