Art exhibition The King’s Peace examines the role of photography in peace and warfare
The show is built around Owen Logan’s fictional travelogue ‘Masquerade: Michael Jackson Alive in Nigeria (2001-2005)’
‘Apart from the referendum, war is the big theme of 2014,’ says Kirsten Lloyd, curator of this group show with a difference at Stills. ‘We wanted to stand this theme on its head to instead explore the idea of peace, or what is now often called “security”. Our starting point was to make an exhibition about realist strategies, power relations, warmongering and the meaning of “peace”.’ The exhibition focuses on Owen Logan’s photo-essay updating of ‘A Rake’s Progress’, ‘Masquerade: Michael Jackson Alive in Nigeria (2001–2005)’, a fictional travelogue which sees the late star’s changing appearance used to, says Logan, ‘satirise Nigerian identity politics, a nation of over 250 different ethnic groups strategically stitched together by the British Empire for the benefit of imperial trade.’
Around this central work, other artists will contribute pieces within these themes. ‘In our email conversations, one of the contributing artists Fred Lonidier said, “What I always told my students about war photography is that the last place to go is the battlefield,”’ says Lloyd. ‘So where do you go? In this exhibition the contexts range from living rooms and rural villages to Mexican factories, Tahrir Square and Wester Hailes. By placing them all cheek by jowl we want to create a dynamic space that provokes questions as well as debate about the role of photography today.’
Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, Fri 1 Aug–Sun 26 Oct.