The art of war

A solider in his helmet was covered in dirt and grime. His eyes looked like they told a story only another solider would understand, with a cigarette in his mouth, clean and ready to burn.

That scene and others were on display at the opening of the Annenberg Space for Photography's new exhibit, "War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath."

The gallery had paintings and war photographs dating as far back as the late 19th century. The photos went beyond soldiers, dead bodies, guns, and bombs, with the display broken up into twelve different subsections, each portraying an aspect of war.

The subsections were Advent of War, Recruitment, Training and Embarkation, The Wait, Patrol and Troop Movement, The Fight, Aftermath, Death, Refugees, and Civilians.

To the right of the entrance, four pictures depicted the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001 before they fell. The photos of the twin towers were next to a television screen that played clips from World War II.

"I had a such strong feeling in the exhibit," said Ellie Smith, a former photography teacher at Beverly Hills Adult School who attended the opening. "The pictures have a lot to do with the philosophy of the decisive moment."

Photojournalist Trishna Patel said that the images are "powerful and leave you speechless."

"I'm curious to see the Vietnam photos because that is the war I have heard a lot about, but I don't know so much about it," attendee Dina Rivas said before walking into the exhibit.

One of the Vietnam photos on display was the image of the "flower child" Jan Rose Kasmir placing a flower in the barrel of a gun held by a United States solider during the October 1967 march on the Pentagon.

In the center of the gallery, there was a short film played called, "The War Photographers," which is specific to the Los Angeles exhibit, according to the Annenberg's website.

The documentary features over 500 photographs from six war photographers.

"It opens your eyes to another world," amateur photographer Nick Filby said of the film. "You never think about the person behind the camera."

Jason Stabile, an employee for the Annenberg, said he is impacted by the people who come see the exhibit.

"It's not the pictures that affect us the most," Stabile said. "The emotional impact of the pictures are there, but it's the people's reactions that affect us."

The photos in the war exhibit are open to the public, but they are not censored.

The Annenberg is located at 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City. Admission is free. The space is open Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Ryan SindonComment