- PhMuseum 2019 Photography Grant
Dates2016 - Ongoing
Everyday on the news we are watching pictures of war and destruction and the expenditure on armaments is setting new records year after year. Well, let’s take a look at the other side of the subject – behind the curtains of global defence business. Nothing Personal shows the back office of war, which is the complete opposite of a battlefield: an oversized playground for adults with vine, finger food and shiny weapons. Dead bodies here are mannequins or pixels on screens of a huge number of simulators. Bazookas and machine guns are plugged into flat screens and war action is staged in an artificial environment in front of a tribune full of high ranked guests, ministers, heads of states generals and traders.
I deliberately don’t show the faces. It is not my intention to fix everything upon a certain person. The anonym zed traders with Weapons covering their Heads could be seen as a reference to John Heartfield’s anti war drawing from the 1930ies before the WW2 “Dangerous Dining Companions”. I like the Idea of this symbolism. On the other hand we should not forget the fact, that the defence industries has been the spearhead of the technological progress of the mankind. People who work here aren’t monsters, most of them have sence of humour, children, pets and a totally normal life beside trading lethal weapons.
The pictures have been taken so far at 8 defense exhibitions between 2016 and 2019 in Europe, Africa and Asia (Poland, Belarus, South Korea, Germany, France, South Africa, China, United Arab Emirates). The final goal of the project is to visit fairs on every continent in order to underline the global thing of this specific business and to publish as photo book. The project has been exhibited in Straßburg, France, Biel and Geneva in Switzerland and won the German VG Bildkunst research grant in 2018 to visit the last 3 trade fairs.