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Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin.  Rudiments (video still). 2015. Courtesy of the Artists and Lisson Gallery, London
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. Rudiments (video still). 2015. Courtesy of the Artists and Lisson Gallery, London

New Body of Work Highlights Technology’s Impact on Warfare

BALTIMORE, MD (February 25, 2016)—The BMA presents new photography, copper plates, sculpture, and film by Adam Broomberg (1970, South Africa) and Oliver Chanarin (1971, United Kingdom) in the exhibition Front Room: Broomberg and Chanarin, on view April 13 through September 11, 2016.

The creative partners have worked together since the late 1990s, challenging the concepts and structure of power through their photography-based practice. Their new body of work underscores the changes technology has wrought on warfare, revealing the fallacies we tell ourselves about it.

“Technology often progresses more quickly than humans’ capacity to use it, causing some to ask: we can do this, but should we?” said Ann Shafer, Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs. “Broomberg and Chanarin peel back the layers on difficult subjects and present them in ways that engage rather than repel. This is truly their magic: ideas are presented in a way that allows space and time for viewers to digest them, react to them, think about their own opinions, and realize there are unseen sides to every story.”

An example includes large-scale photographs of bullets that collided and fused midair during the Civil War as well as images of high-precision prisms—the sort made in Germany during World War II that enabled scopes on firearms and the ability to kill an enemy from a great distance.

As part of this exhibition, the BMA will present in the Black Box gallery Broomberg & Chanarin’s 12-minute film, Rudiments (2015), which shows a group of young British cadets training at a military camp. As they learn drumrolls and how to march in formation, a bouffon arrives and disrupts them in an effort to mock the system that produced these cadets. The film’s title refers to the 40 rudiments that form the technical foundation of percussive music, including rolls, strokes, and paradiddles. The soundtrack is a dramatic, improvised score for drums by the American musician Kid Millions (also known as John Colpitts).

The exhibition is curated By Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Ann Shafer.

About the Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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