Waiting for Movement

Mikhail Tolmachev


Materials: C-print, audio

Forming the basis of the work Waiting for Movement is a video recording made from on board a military helicopter, published by Wikileaks. The video shows the shooting of over ten people, including Reuters journalists, on the outskirts of New Baghdad. This took place due to an error – the photo and video equipment of the journalists were taken for weapons by the pilots. The work consists of ten photographs of enlarged parts of the screen in which the military personnel identified the weapons. Photographic enlargement creates the illusion of more exact observation and greater proximity to the truth. It translates the mechanical video filming of an on-board camera into a form of abstraction, altering thereby the perception of the event itself. The focus shifts onto the act of recognition of an object found before one’s eyes. These images are accompanied by the recording of the dialogue, during which the decision was taken to open fire. Radio discussions – just like hi-tech optics – are yet another means of overcoming distance. The speech of the soldiers interacts with the imagery and confirms the weapons on the screen before them. The decision to open fire took all of just over two minutes. The pauses between playing of the radio dialogues lasts around the same length of time, leaving the viewer alone with the abstract images.

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