Topography of War

September 17 - December 18, 2011
  • Jananne Al-Ani, Shadow Sites II, 2011

  • Nicholas Calcott

  • Nicholas Calcott

Can we imagine anything other than battle to represent war ?

The photographs and videos exhibited here deliberately leave aside confrontation, body, collapse, injury, death. The exhibition thus brings together several bodies of work produced after 2000, which share a clear, explicit documentary ambition: a determined choice to display war in a totally disembodied manner, focusing rather on the sites, the positions, the geological or built spaces.

They are topographical essays in a sense, that favor a reading of war through its geography, however not denying the human cost of fighting.

In terms of military strategy, these iconographic choices coincide with the increased use of simulation techniques and the spread of long-range weaponry, but also with the military's media censorship and the virtual impossibility for photographers and video-makers to operate freely on the ground.

Is the territory of war becoming an abstract concept, an ideological construction, a given that could not be represented ?

-Jean-Yves Jouannais

Exhibited artists

Paola de Pietri
Jananne Al-Ani
Jo Ractliffe
An-My Lê
Harun Farocki
Donovan Wylie
Till Roeskens
Eyal Weizman et Luc Delahaye
Walid Raad
Collateral murder (wikileaks)


A book, Topography of War, co-published by Steidl/ LE BAL coincides with the exhibition including the works of: An-My Lê, Paola De Pietri, Harun Farocki, Jananne Al-Ani, Till Roeskens, Walid Raad, Eyal Weizman and Luc Delahaye.

In the Press

« What’s far more important in this matte ris to smash any impulse to romanticize and instead get back to basics, to give the viewer an image that declares, in the most severe Barthesian terms, « That was how it was, and it wasn’t a joke” and lying as little as possible. »

Practical info

Curators : Jean-Yves Jouannais et Diane Dufour



The Family of Man

Discussion with Ariella Azoulay, Georges Didi-Huberman and Eyal Sivan

Wednesday 26 October 2011 at 7PM

Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes

Conference by Trevor Paglen

Thursday 27 October 2011 at 7PM

Do we agree?


Wednesday 14 december 2011 at 7PM

Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency

Meeting with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

Thursday 15 december 2011 at 8PM

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