Above left: Photo # USN 711523 North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats under fire by USS Maddox, 2 August 1964 Above right: Photo # USN 711524 North Vietnamese motor torpedo boat attacking USS Maddox, 2 August 1964
Jacob Balzani, Madeleine Corcoran, Cinzia D’Ambrosi, Julia Johnson, Veronika Lukasova, Steve Mepsted, Amin Musa, Linka A. Odom, Lewis Bush and Monica Alcazar-Duarte.
An exhibition curated by Lewis Bush and Monica Alcazar-Duarte in collaboration with Paul Lowe and including material from The Stanley Kubrick Archive.
Talk by Photographer Paul Lowe, Pratap Rughani & Steve Mepsted on Friday 10th of October from 3 to 4.
Private View on Friday 10th of October from 7 to 9.30
Media and Myth brings together photography, video and text pieces produced in response to the London College of Communication’s NAM research project. This research project explores the role of mass media in the reporting and subsequent memory of the Vietnam War.
Participants have taken diverse approaches to this wide subject, from examining the way photography was used to document and report the war, to looking at the underground zine production that took place amongst US servicemen during the war. Other participants have employed video, cutting together Hollywood movies to demonstrate reoccurring clichés in the way the conflict has since been depicted. Still other participants have made use of some of the remarkable collections held at the London College of Collections, for example by researching material from the Stanley Kubrick archive in a bid to show how Kubrick recreated an authentic looking Vietnam for his film 1987 Full Metal Jacket. The exhibition will also include a number of photographs drawn from the Kubrick archive itself, demonstrating Kubrick’s engagement with the subject.
The choice of this year for the exhibition is significant, as it marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. This attack by North Vietnamese boats on the warship USS Maddox was used by the United States government as a pretext to escalate American military involvement in Vietnam. This despite the only evidence for the attack being a series of grainy and indistinct photographs. The way that this attack was evidenced primarily through a photograph, and the consequences of that for the people of Vietnam and the United States, show the huge power of mass media in the documentation and subsequent memory of conflict.
This exhibition is programmed as part of East London Photomonth Festival 2014.