New exhibits opening including From Fallujah: a group exhibit of Iraqi contemporary photographers

altered newspaper mixesd media series

TORN (installation by Margaret Sartor) on stage wall at PS118 Gallery and Event Space

Three unique and extremely prescient exhibits running through Nov. 6 or longer

25 years of sparking joy and conversation through books and gallery exhibits continues with a set of prescient exhibits and new books”

— Dave Wofford

DURHAM, NC, UNITED STATES, September 20, 2021 / — As H&B celebrates our 25th anniversary we present two unique and prescient exhibits at our PS118 Gallery & Event Space in downtown Durham. All run through Nov. 6 or longer, and we are looking for media coverage to publicize these exhibits (singularly or collectively) to help the work engage a larger and more diverse audience.

FROM FALLUJAH: Work by four contemporary Fallujah photographers opens our main exhibition wall October 1. Curated by retired U.S. Army veteran John Bechtold who served in Iraq twice, this exhibit proceeds from the idea that the best way to learn about a place is through the people who live there.

Fallujah is remembered as an Iraq War battlefield in American public memory, if it's remembered at all.But Fallujah is a city where people work, attend school, and frequent public spaces wanting what we all want: a chance to peaceably choose our lives. This exhibit can be thought of as a first step to reimagine places damaged or destroyed during the Iraq War.

It's difficult to know if many people care about the effect of American state-sponsored violence, but we should. The same fighter jets that streak over stadiums in the United States to patriotic cheers once streaked over Fallujah to drop 500-pound bombs. One of these realities is visible; the other is not. The disparity between the two is informed by the ways war is represented in different cultural contexts. We see the weapons of war, the happy homecomings, and sometimes we even glimpse, briefly, the damage to soldiers' bodies. What we don't witness are the citizens of countries affected by war.

This exhibit seeks to literally install an Iraqi perspective in an American space. With this in mind, audiences can expect framed photographs displayed traditionally on the main wall. Additionally, more images will be shared in a recreated Iraqi living space installation inside the gallery's storefront windows, and this installation will remain lighted 24/7 to engage sidewalk passers by at all times.

As the U.S. is in a unique moment of revisiting the effectiveness and goals of our foreign policies and nation building, we feel this is an important time to consider the specific perspectives, lives, and interests of citizens usually viewed as secondary to global and strategic military concerns.

After a twenty-one-year career in the United States Army, John Bechtold is living his second act of life as an artist and academic. He was in Iraq twice, once as a platoon leader and once again as an advisor to the Iraqi Army. That experience continues to shape how he sees the world. John holds a Master's degree from Duke University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the American Studies program at the UNC-Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores the representation of war in American public memory.

RECEPTION Saturday, October 9; 4–6pm; guest scholar Noor Ghazi will give a free public talk.
CURATOR TALK Thursday, October 21; 7:00pm
John will talk about war in public memory and some of the curatorial choices which informed this project.

On the stage in the back of the gallery (which hosts a range of artist talks and literary readings)we share an installation by Margaret Sartor.

TORN: A Year that Changed Everything presents a grid of 14 sequenced framed fine art prints from her ongoing altered newspaper mixed media series. This work looks back at an incredibly wild year of politics and our pandemic. It presents one individual's artistic responseto the onslaught of bad and difficult news through putting down on paper the words and emotions that come from within.

This two venue exhibit will greatly appeal to lovers of literature and the craft of creative writing, as well as cultural anthropologists and news junkies who recognize the uniqueness of the pandemic and divisive political climate we are living through.


PS118 is open Fridays and Saturdays, Noon–8pm, and by appointment.
Our Broad Street gallery, located at 1116 Broad Street is open M–F, 8:30-4/5ish and by appt.
More information about these exhibits and the artists/curators can be found on the following websites.

We are happy to give private tours to individuals or groups, and appreciate any help publicizing any of these strong exhibits

Dave Wofford
Horse & Buggy Press and Friends
+1 919-949-4847
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Source: EIN Presswire