Antipersonnel 1:1

17 Feb 2010 > 31 Mar 2010
artist(s): Rafael Dallaporta

Antipersonnel 1:1 uses a documentary approach to identify and archive, the various types of anti-personnel and submunitions that still exist around the world today. Raphaël Dallaporta´s life size photos of landmines on a black background, which look like something out of a perfume catalogue, awaken feelings of both fascination and disgust. They remind us that war is a business just like any other, and that the business of anti-personnel landmines is the vilest and basest of all.

It aims to draw attention to a business in which the mines are designed, manufactured, and sold, says Dallaporta, who has been fascinated by the subject since he came across people working with landmines while in Bosnia in 1998. In the exhibition Antipersonnel 1:1, the mines are seen as objects of beauty; diabolical beauty: they are photogenic, attractive and sensual, photographed as if they were designer products, dressed in their best dresses of steel or bronze satin. The viewer becomes captivated by the disturbing beauty of these objects. In contrast we see the detailed explanation of each: name, origin, year manufactured, weight, size, human impact, and fascination gives way to disgust and our conscience wavers faced with this vile, depraved reality.

Dallaporta shows us not the impact of landmines, something which is already well known, but the cause-effect relationships of their continued use in our world and thus achieves what photo-journalism often fails to achieve. Moreover, he does this in a way which is almost subversive, much the way in which landmines operate.

This magnificent documentary work captivated Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner and chief spokesperson of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, as well as Martin Parr, the distinguished British photographer of the Magnum agency, who in 2004 selected Dallaporta to participate with this exhibition in the Arles Photography Festivals.

About the artist

Raphaël Dallaporta was born in 1980 and lives and works in Paris, where he graduated from the Ecole des Gobelins in 2002. In 2004 he was selected by Martin Parr to exhibit for the first time his series Antipersonnel 1:1 at the Arles Photography Festival. In 2006 he exhibited Esclavage Doméstique at the same festival adminstrated by Raymond Depardon. He participated in reGeneration – 50 photographs of tomorrow 2005-2025 organised by the Elysée Museum of Lausanne and the Aperture Foundation. In May 2008 his project Autopsy was presented at the first edition of the New York Photo Festival in Dumbo, chosen by Kathy Ryan (the New York Times Magazine). His work can be found in a number of collections including the Collections Fond Nacional d´Árt Contemporain and La Maison Européenne de la Fotographie.