Oziljak (Scar): Paul Lowe
May 14 2015, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
LCC, Upper Street Gallery, London, SE1 6SB
Curated by Val Williams
During his time as a photojournalist in Bosnia, Paul Lowe made a remarkable set of panoramic photographs of the war-torn country. Showing for the first time, the exhibition will be accompanied by an issue of Fieldstudy.
"By the winter of 1994, I had been going back and forth to Bosnia, and to Sarajevo, for the best part of two years, and I was struggling to see pictures anymore. I first arrived in Sarajevo a month after the siege started in May 1992, and my first stories concentrated how citizens were adapting to life under constant shelling and sniping, without running water, electricity, gas and food. They were extraordinarily resilient, and not only survived the physical stresses but also found ways to defend themselves against the mental ones. They continued to make art, to put on theatre performances, to stage concerts, to write poetry: all ways that a civic society could resist the aggression bent on destroying not just the material of the city but also its spirit.
During a lull in the fighting caused by a series of ceasefires, I began to try to document another facet of life under siege, the texture and fabric of the city itself. I lugged a large format panoramic camera and a heavy tripod with me, exploring the various ways in which the streets had been fragmented by artillery shells, mortars, rockets and bullets, and the extraordinary variety of defences improvised from concrete, shipping containers and vehicles to defend themselves from the fire. The panoramic format opened up the scene, extending the usual media coverage of the intense moment into a more expansive view showing the scale of the city and its texture. There was even occasionally a haunting beauty in the destruction, echoes of classical ruins and the grand tour."
With thanks to the Graduate School, London College of Communication