Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents Zones of Conflict

Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents Zones of Conflict

Pratt Institute

November 12, 2008
Pratt Manhattan Gallery presents Zones of Conflict
“Zones of Conflict”
Opening Reception

Pratt Manhattan Gallery
144 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Pratt Manhattan Gallery will present “Zones of Conflict,” an exhibition that assembles key examples of photographic and video-based artworks that focus on contemporary war, particularly in the Middle East, from November 19, 2008 – February 7, 2009. The exhibition and corresponding events are free and open to the public.

“Zones of Conflict” presents multiple artistic approaches, including those that document experiences of conflict that fall below the radar of the mass media. The exhibition explores work by contemporary artists who have challenged and recalculated documentary conventions in critical and creative ways, such as by blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction, giving expression to traumatic situations, and raising discord to the surface of representational structures. The result is not only a displacement of photography’s erstwhile mission as the objective and neutral transmission of fact, but also an imaginative recalibration of the documentary mode in order to generate new models of “truth.”

The exhibition, guest-curated by T. J. Demos, features work by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (Iraq), Sam Durant (U.S.A.), Andrea Geyer (Germany) and Simon J. Ortiz (Acoma Nation – U.S.A.), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland), Emily Jacir (Palestine), Lamia Joreige (Lebanon), An-My Lê (U.S.A.), Walid Raad (Lebanon/U.S.A.), Ahlam Shibli (Palestine), Sean Snyder (U.S.A.), Hito Steyerl (Germany), and Guy Tillim (South Africa).

“With the U.S. engaged in a ‘war on terror’ now more than seven years old, it is urgent to look back on and examine recent artistic approaches to geopolitical conflict, approaches largely made through the innovative reinvention of the documentary mediums of photography and video,” said guest curator Demos.

Demos currently lectures in modern and contemporary art at University College London.

“Image Wars: Rethinking Documentary Practice During Global Crisis,” an interdisciplinary symposium in conjunction with the exhibition, will be moderated by Demos on Friday, January 30th at 2 p.m. in the gallery.

The exhibition is the second in a series of three at Pratt Manhattan Gallery that will focus on politics and media. “Party Headquarters: Voting is Just the Beginning,” an exhibition of political art works guest curated by Eleanor Heartney and Larry Litt, took place from September 25 – November 4, 2008. The third and last exhibition, “Broadcast,” which runs from February 20 – May 2, 2009, will explore the ways in which artists since the late 1960s have engaged with, critiqued, and inserted themselves into the official channels of broadcast television and radio. “Broadcast” is guest curated by Irene Hofmann, co-organized by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, and Independent Curators International (iCI), New York, and circulated by iCI.

More information on the exhibition can be found at

About Pratt Manhattan Gallery:
Pratt Manhattan Gallery is a public art gallery affiliated with Pratt Institute. The goals of the gallery are to present significant, innovative, and intellectually challenging work in the fields of art, architecture, fashion, and design from around the world and to provide a range of educational initiatives to help viewers relate contemporary art to their lives in a meaningful way.

Image above:
The Atlas Group in collaboration with Walid Raad (Lebanon/U.S.A.)
Selection from Let’s be honest, the weather helped (Saudi Arabia, China, U.S., Switzerland, NATO, U.K., Israel) 1984-2007
Archival color inkjet prints, 19 x 29 inches each of 4, artist proof 1 from edition of 7 and 2 artist proofs
© W. Raad. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

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November 12, 2008

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