Inconvenient Evidence: Iraqi Prison Photographs from Abu Ghraib

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Date/Time: 09/11/2004 12:00 am

Inconvenient Evidence: Iraqi Prison Photographs from Abu Ghraib
Tuesday November 9, 2004
7:00 pm
The Great Hall – Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street at 3rd Avenue
In Conversation: Seymour Hersh, Luc Sante, David Levi Strauss
Moderated by Brian Wallis
Seymour Hersh, Luc Sante, and David Levi Strauss will participate in a major
symposium held in conjunction with the exhibition Inconvenient Evidence:
Iraqi Prison Photographs from Abu Ghraib, which is on view at the
International Center of Photography through November 28, 2004. 
The symposium, moderated by ICP Chief Curator Brian Wallis, will take place
on Tuesday, November 9 at 7:00 pm, in The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East
7th Street at 3rd Avenue in New York City.
This panel will bring together these outstanding writers and critics who
will address the part that photography has played in the international
debate on the events of the past year, and will speak to a range of ethical
and political issues, the function of electronic media, and photography’s
role in documenting truth.
Few photographs in recent years have had the explosive impact of the images
of detainees being abused by U.S. troops at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. First
revealed on CBS’s “60 Minutes II” on April 28, 2004, the photographs quickly
began to proliferate on a number of Internet sites, and were subsequently
published in the May 5, 2004 issue of The New Yorker with Seymour Hersh’s
article entitled “Torture at Abu Ghraib.”
>From the covers of weekly news magazines to the front pages of national and
local newspapers, the images began to invade the American consciousness. The
emergence of the Abu Ghraib photographs fundamentally calls into question
the relationship between photography and war. Unlike traditional war
photojournalism, the images were not created as documentation of atrocities,
but were actually intended as instruments of maltreatment and
sexual/cultural humiliation. It was amateur digital photographs transmitted
over the Internet that made the public aware of shocking human rights abuses
and jolted our perception of the Iraqi conflict, something that signaled a
sea change in the representation of war via image-making technology.
Admission to the symposium is free. Seating is limited: for further
information and to reserve a space, please contact the ICP Education
Department at (212) 857-0001.
Organized by the International Center of Photography in conjunction with The
Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School and Cooper Union. 
This evening panel has been made possible with the generous support of the
Open Society Institute.
Seymour Hersh, Writer; author, Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu
Ghraib, The Dark Side of Camelot, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear
Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, and The Price of Power: Kissinger in
the Nixon White House, among others; regular contributor for The New Yorker
since 1993; recipient of numerous awards including the National Magazine
Award for Public Interest for his pieces on intelligence and the Iraq war,
the Pulitzer Prize, and four George Polk Awards.                     
David Levi Strauss, Writer and critic; essays and reviews have appeared
regularly in Artforumand Aperture; author, Between the Eyes, Essays on
Photography and Politics, Between Dog & Wolf: Essays on Art & Politics, and
Broken Wings: The Legacy of Landmines; his essays have also appeared in
monographs on numerous artists including Carolee Schneemann, Leon Golub,
Miguel Rio Branco, Alfredo Jaar, Francesca Woodman, and Daniel J. Martinez.
Luc Sante, Visiting Professor of Writing and Photography, Bard College;
author, Walker Evans (2001), The Factory of Facts (1998), Evidence (1992),
and Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991). Co-editor, O.K. You
Mugs (1999). Introductions to Maggie and the Bowery Tales by Stephen Crane
(Modern Library, 2001) and Classic Crimes by William Roughead (2000), among
others. Essays in New York Review of Books, New York Times Magazine, many
others. Awards: Whiting Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Award in Literature
from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Grammy Award (for album
Brian Wallis, ICP Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator. Organizer of
numerous exhibitionsincluding “Inconvenient Evidence: Iraqi Prison
Photographs from Abu Ghraib,” currently at ICP, and a forthcoming
retrospective of the work of Larry Clark. Publications include Only Skin
Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self (2003); Art Matters: How the
Culture Wars Changed America (1999); Constructing Masculinity (1995); and
Democracy: A Project by Group Material (1990).