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Series of photos / 23×34.5cm Diasec / 2012

This series of photographs is part of a research project that took me to the 2012 “International Defence Industry Exhibition” in Poland. I spent four days on site researching, taking photographs and filming. There are around 400 companies from 29 countries at this trade fair, presenting their “goods” and “services”. Politics and business go hand and hand into the spotlight. For a week, contracts, agreements and deals are negotiated – and no-one worries about possibly being observed by a critical eye. All of this takes place at a standard trade fair: there is a festive atmosphere, with culinary and musical entertainment provided round the clock. Predominantly female trade fair hostesses also help create a “inviting” environment for businesspeople and politicians.
Reality-distorting constructions seemed to hit me right between the eyes over the course of these few days. The fair is a way of utterly trivialising armed politics and military force. The reality of war is completely masked and replaced with a show of technology and entertainment, and, in my opinion, this perfectly illustrates the very pertinent and complex issues surrounding how realities are made (in)visible. To consider this question further, I refer to extracts of texts, including this one by Judith Butler:

„Efforts to control the visual and narrative dimensions of war delimit public discourse by establishing and disposing the sensuous parameters of reality itself – including what can be seen and what can be heard. As a result, it makes sense to ask, does regulating the limits of what is visible or audible serve as a precondition of war waging, one facilitated by cameras and other technologies of communication?“

Judith Butler, in: “Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?“ Brooklyn, NY: Verso, 2009