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Monday, 20 February 2012

War Primers 1 and 2

I was looking at Broomberg and Chanarin's War Primer 2. It was printed in a sold-out edition of 100 and cost £350 a go so I don't have a copy, but I'd like one. You can't really see it too well on screen but you can see a BJP review here).

Instead, have a look at the book that inspired it - published in 1955, Bertold Brecht's War Primer
consists of pictures cut out of newspapers with poems written by Brecht to accompany them. 

Brecht said, "Don't start with the good old things but the bad new ones," which is the spirit in which  Broomberg and Chanarin made their version.

More of the bad new things please. There's a lot of it about. 

You, in your tanks and bombers, mighty warriors,
You that in Algiers sweat, in Lapland freeze
In scores of battles you have been victorious
See whom you’ve conquered. Hail your victories!

 Those you see lying here, buried in mud
As if they lay already in their grave–
They’re merely sleeping, are not really dead
Yet, not asleep, would still not be awake.

 That’s how the world was going to be run!
The other nations mastered him, except
(In case you think the battle has been won)–
The womb is fertile still from which that crept.


Victoria said...

I am a big admirer of B&C's work and would love to get hold of a copy of War Primer 2. However the price that these two artists have put on their book has made me feel very uneasy. Realistically how many people are going to get to see this work? And is the right audience going to see this? Or only people who can afford to? I bought Brecht's original book for £35.00 and as it stands now it is the only War Primer I will see.

colin pantall said...

They were expensive but they were positioned tilted at being artists books with hand-tipped prints, edition of 100 and all that - the move from documentary to art. I'm guessing that they might make a larger edition at a cheaper price - you should email them and ask them. Is there anywhere you can see the book online in decent quality?

Victoria said...

Good idea, I might e-mail them. I was hoping that they would release another batch, I can't remember what 'People Falling to the Ground..' was priced when it was first released however I do know you can get it for 35.00 now.

There website has a good few images but I would love to get the book as it relates very closely to my personal work and would love to compare the two War Primers :)

Anonymous said...

If all goes well its going to be an app that is free to download!