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Review: Collateral Damage: The Human Face of War/Stephen Daiter Gallery

Photography, River North Add comments

Ashley Gilbertson, “Bedrooms of the Fallen: CPL. Christophe G. Scherer,” 2012

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Whether it is Vincent Cianni’s black-and-white portraits of gay soldiers under the contradictory and compromised reign of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” Stephanie Sinclair’s searing color scenes of Afghan women who have taken violence into themselves and committed acts of self-immolation, or Samantha Appleton’s color war-zone shots, like a jihadi in Iraq praying alone inside the walls of a bombed-out, gutted house, this powerful show, titled “Collateral Damage: The Human Face of War,” fills in the picture of the realities of war beyond the battles. Collateral damage means much more here than civilian casualties and property destroyed; it is the effect on individuals that will last lifetimes. At the extremities, it means the absence that haunts Ashley Gilbertson’s black-and-white wide-angle studies of the bedrooms of fallen young soldiers in the homes where they grew up, unchanged by their parents: One young man had put his diplomas, awards, and trophies neatly on display for his eyes, another had filled his space to overflow with regalia, sports posters and pin-ups, and a young woman had surrounded herself with lush houseplants. Behind the uniform, there is always an irreplaceable individual. (Michael Weinstein)

Through December 1 at Stephen Daiter Gallery, 230 West Superior

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