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Jeff Wall «Dead Troops Talk»
Jeff Wall, «Dead Troops Talk», 1992
Photography | © Jeff Wall
Open as full size image
(A Vision After an Ambush of a Red Army Patro Near Moquor, Afghanistan, Winter 1986)«, 1992 Transparency in lightbox

4.17*2.29 m (W*H) | Colour Picture

 Jeff Wall
«Dead Troops Talk»

For a long period Wall, above all, staged the image before the photographic documenting of it, but, in the 1990s, turned to manipulating images digitally by the way of montage and post-processing. This is how he arranged the picture «Dead Troops Talk» (1992) with actors in the studio, photographed in individual sections later assembled digitally, and finally simulated a monumental outdoor photograph. Yet the image hardly refers to an event found in history books, and although it appears realistic, the depicted scene is clearly a fiction: it shows us dead soldiers who seem to talk and joke with one another. For that reason, Susan Sonntag referred to this image as the «opposite of a document» (Susan Sonntag, Regarding the Pain of Others, New York, 2003). Wall’s image is a fundamental critique of male violence, and of the destructive energy and senselessness of war.