Corcoran Gallery of Art presents Tim Hetherington photographs exhibition

The Corcoran Gallery of Art presents Tim Hetherington. Sleeping Soldiers, on view through May 20, 2012, an exhibition of work by the late photographer and multimedia artist Tim Hetherington, highlighting his work chronicling the Afghan War. Sleeping Soldiers is organized by Philip Brookman, chief curator and head of research at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.


Tim Hetherington, Afghanistan, Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Sterling Jones practices his golf swing while at the main KOP [Korengal Outpost] firebase in the valley. Soldiers spend about two weeks at the Restrepo outpost before coming back to the main KOP base, where they can get a hot shower and call their family., April 2008. Chromogenic (Lightjet) digital print. Courtesy Estate of Tim Hetherington. © Tim Hetherington/Magnum Photos

The exhibition includes photographs as well as Hetherington’s three-screen video installation Sleeping Soldiers (2010), which juxtaposes chaotic scenes of combat with still images of soldiers at rest.

Between 2007 and 2008, photographer Tim Hetherington (1970–2011) was embedded with U.S. Army soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team at Outpost Restrepo, a remote and dangerous post in the Korengal Valley of northeastern Afghanistan. Living with the soldiers during their 15-month deployment, Hetherington recorded all aspects of their experience, from construction of the camp to scenes of intense combat, and through frequent passages of boredom and waiting.

“Tim Hetherington’s sought to reach the widest possible audience with his innovative sensibility of multimedia reporting,” said Brookman. “His ability to cross the traditional boundaries between photography and video and between journalism and art led him to rethink the role of news images and how they could be distributed and consumed in a networked world.”
Hetherington made numerous still photographs at Outpost Restrepo for print publications, but he also used video, audio, interviews, and personal writings, even incorporating images of soldiers’ tattoos in his documentation. His complex multimedia journalism was intended not only to represent the platoon’s experience of war with immersive depth but also to reach the widest possible audience. His video footage was featured in the Oscar- nominated documentary Restrepo, a collaboration with famed journalist Sebastian Junger. Hetherington’s photographs and other documentation animate his award-winning book Infidel (2010). Hetherington also combined media to create Sleeping Soldiers (2010). In this revelatory presentation, the artist juxtaposes chaotic scenes of combat with still images of soldiers at rest, allowing viewers to consider the uncertainty, stress, and physical toll of combat in Afghanistan.

Sleeping Soldiers is presented in conjunction with Shadows of History: Photographs of the Civil War from the Collection of Julia J. Norrell (February 4—May 20), in the Corcoran’s Photography and Media Arts galleries.

In addition to the exhibition’s public dimension, Tim Hetherington: Sleeping Soldiers also presents a considerable study opportunity for students in the Corcoran College of Art + Design’s new Master of Arts in New Media Photojournalism program. This program, the first of its kind, helps visual journalists with varying backgrounds study and address the challenges facing photojournalism today. Located in the nation’s capital, the program draws on a vibrant community of media outlets and renowned photojournalists who make Washington, D.C., their home. The program emphasizes the individual as a visual reporter and encourages experimentation with new ways of storytelling, documentation, and editing, and explores the latest digital practices taught in conjunction with the enduring fundamentals of visual reporting, editing, and ethics. For more information, visit http://www.corcoran.edu/degree-programs/graduate/ma-new-media-photojournalism.

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