War Images at Corcoran Art Gallery

The images at Corcoran Art Gallery interesting. Some, I have seen multiple times, reprinted on T-shirts, magazine and textbooks. Others were new but what struck me was how familiar they seemed. I felt as if I had seen these pictures at some point, somewhere. Then I realized that it wasn’t the pictures themselves but what they depicted. Seeing soldiers either in combat, resting, or the civilians…I had already seen countless pictures with the same subject matter. Although most of the pictures were new to me, I had become so used to seeing such war images that I have become immune to them. They’ve all been just labeled and profiled into my “war images” folder. I realized this after I noticed that I didn’t feel anything towards the pictures until I’ve read the caption and everything that followed. Just like it happened with me, the widespread circulation of these images have such affect on people. It numbs them and reduced the shock value of war. When photography wasn’t that advanced and expensive, they were startled by photographs from war. But now, after growing up seeing such things from a very early age, how many people can say that they have been affected by these pictures? It begs to question if seeing images have made us less sympathetic to war efforts because of we are so used to it.

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One thought on “War Images at Corcoran Art Gallery”

  1. I had a very similar feeling to you when I first walked into the Exhibit. The two first pictures of the twin towers falling set my expectations. I began to think that I had already seen most of these pictures in other places. It wasn’t until the second room that I began to understand it was, as you have said “subject matter.”

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