Drawing from Hetherington’s series, Infidel and Diary (2007 – 2008) which documents the experience of war from the perspective of the individual, Infidel consists of large-scale photographs of the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, as well as intimate portraits of the American troops stationed there. Through photographs, text work and films, Hetherington reconsiders human suffering as a result of war, both from the perspective of ordinary soldiers as well as the civilians caught up in the conflict.
Speaking about his work, Hetherington has said “It’s all about the men. I didn’t want to pretend this was […] about the war in Afghanistan. It was a conscious decision. It’s brotherhood. The flow of pictures is to introduce you to the Korengal Valley first and then to see the men in an intimate way…To get to know them and how they lived. Then you see them in combat in the traditional combat style. Finally, you see them as young men, sleeping.”
Alongside the prints of Infidel, is Diary, which collates original footage taken by Hetherington throughout his career. To Heatherington, this was “a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”
Hetherington’s work has posthumously become part of the Magnum Photo Archive, after the photographer was tragically killed on April 20, 2011, while photographing and filming in Libya. His year in Afghanistan also became the basis for the documentary Restrepo, which he co-directed with Sebastian Junger. The film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2011 for Best Documentary Feature.
Tim Hetherington: Infidel until 17 September 2014 Continuing: 1 – 31 October at Photofusion, 17A Electric Lane London SW9 8LA
1. Untitled Korengal Valley Kunar Province Afghanistan 2008 © Tim Hetherington Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery New York
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