Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin Studio, Adam Broomberg, Oliver Chanarin. War Primer 2. 2011
  • Not on view

War Primer 2 is an artist’s book that inhabits the pages of the 1998 first English–language edition of Bertolt Brecht’s Kriegsfibel (War Primer), originally published in German in 1955. Brecht matched World War II newspaper clippings with four–line poems that he called photo–epigrams, with the intent of demystifying the mass–media images. Brecht was skeptical of the role photojournalism played in the political economy of capitalism, and he referred to press pictures as hieroglyphics in need of decoding. In their version, Broomberg and Chanarin silkscreened text directly onto Brecht’s book and superimposed low–resolution screenshots, culled from Google image searches, that refer to the ongoing “War on Terror.” Through this layering of photographic history the artists construct a critique of images of contemporary conflict.

Gallery label from New Photography 2013, September 14, 2013–January 6, 2014.
Medium
Artist book
Dimensions
11 13/16 x 9 13/16 x 3/4" (30 x 25 x 1.9 cm)
Credit
Gift of Paradise Row
Object number
440.2013
Copyright
© 2019 Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
Department
Photography

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.