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In Love and War exhibition reflects on the fragility of human life, in the hopes of bringing the viewer to a place of compassion and solicitude. This exhibition—featuring photographers Milagros de la Torre, Henry Jacobson, Richard Mosse, Jessica Hines, Justin Maxon and Grant Worth—was part of The FotoVisura Pavilion—sponsored by The Viso Lizardi Family—during the 2011 New York Photo Festival.

In Love and War is an attempt to depict a contemporary society in which the interceptive space between war and love converge. The roles assumed and tools required by professionals on duty become necessary to the survival and protection of civilians. In this exhibition, the soldier becomes the civilian and vice versa; the injured veteran reenacts being a soldier at war; and the passerby becomes part of the exhibition. Coexisting is a war that is portrayed as an external and internal conflict challenging the boundaries between love and war, and, our perception of privacy.

Embedded (2007) by Milagros de la Torre introduces distinct variations of 21 arms-resistant garments worn by professionals on duty—soldiers, police officers, governmental figures—to reflect on the human body: its absence, pain and vulnerability, and its possibility of encountering physical and emotional aggression. Bulletproof (2008) introduces an innocently concealed armor- plated corduroy jacket specifically designed to be worn by female civilians living in crime or war afflicted cities around the world. The juxtaposition between the arms-resistant vests and the bulletproof clothing is an attempt to reflect on the reality when a war intersects with the home, and its impact on the individual men, women and children.

Lost/Loved by Henry Jacobson is a meditation on sex, desire, love, loss, and betrayal. A metaphor to the emotional nuances within the exhibition, this piece aims to incite the viewer to emancipate oneself from the boundaries language creates when one attempts to make sense of the meaning(s) of words such as “love” and “war”.

Killcam by Richard Mosse is a video, in which amputees and other wounded Iraq war veterans recovering in Walter Reed Veterans Hospital compete tournament style against each other on several giant plasma screens playing Iraq-themed combat video games. This footage is cut with actual leaked combat footage from Iraq showing strafing missile attacks and assassinations with original soldiers’ battle commentary. Killcam draws the intersecting line between the simulated and reality.

My Brother’s War by Jessica Hines retraces the artist’s brother Gary’s footsteps back to Vietnam. Derived by letters and photographs he left behind as guides, Hines creates a lifeline of narratives about Gary, a Vietnam veteran. Through these images, Hines brings to life the story of a man, son, brother, friend and lover named Gary who was drafted during the Vietnam War, and upon his return committed suicide. These images reflect an illusion of a memory, a feeling of what the artist imagined may have taken place during her brother’s life; universally, these also pay tribute to all the fallen soldiers and civilians whose lives should never be forgotten.

Slow Down…breath…only this life is a series by FotoVisura Grant Winner Justin Maxon, in which the artist reflects about a life in transition from a path of chaos to one of healing. An attempt to translate a life seen as a blur of movement, where he chooses to thread the fractured pieces of his life back into place.

Free Radicles is a series by Grant Worth consisting of portraits taken at The FotoVisura Pavilion. The performance was an interactive photo booth where guests were incorporated into scenes inspired by the themes of In Love and War and documented with instant film. Visitors were photographed in a space where “Protest for Hijinks,” “Free Radicles!” and “Enjoy Global Heart Warming ” became the subjects for public gatherings and rallies.

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