Epilogue by Adi Ophir
Violence, calamity and the absurdity of war are recorded extensively within The Archive of Modern Conflict, the largest photographic collection of its kind in the world. For their most recent work, Holy Bible, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin mined this archive with philosopher Adi Ophir’s central tenet in mind: that God reveals himself predominantly through catastrophe and that power structures within the Bible correlate with those within modern systems of governance.
The format of Broomberg and Chanarin’s illustrated Holy Bible mimics both the precise structure and the physical form of the King James Version. By allowing elements of the original text to guide their image selection, the artists explore themes of authorship, and the unspoken criteria used to determine acceptable evidence of conflict.
Inspired in part by the annotations and images Bertolt Brecht added to his own personal bible, Broomberg and Chanarin’s publication questions the clichés at play within the visual representation of conflict.
About the Artist(s):
Adam Broomberg (born 1970, Johannesburg, South Africa) and Oliver Chanarin (born 1971, London, UK) are artists living and working between London and Berlin. They are professors of photography at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) in Hamburg, Germany. Together they have had numerous solo exhibitions including the Hasselblad Center (2017), Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2015); Jumex Foundation, Mexico City (2014); Mostyn, Llandudno, UK (2014); Townhouse, Cairo (2010) and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2006). Their participation in international group shows includes the Yokohama Trienniale (2017), Documenta, Kassel (2017), The British Art Show 8 (2015-2017), Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern, London and Museum Folkwang, Essen (2015); Shanghai Biennale (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); Tate Britain (2014), Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2013); Gwanju Biennale (2012) and the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011). Their work is held in major public and private collections including Tate, MoMA, Yale, Stedelijk, the V&A, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Baltimore Museum of Art. Major awards include the ICP Infinity Award (2014) for Holy Bible, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2013) for War Primer 2.
About the Publisher(s):
MACK Books have published books with artists, writers and curators. They are based out of United Kingdom.
The Archive of Modern Conflict is an organisation dedicated to the collection and preservation of vernacular photographs, objects, artefacts, curiosities, and ephemera. Founded in 1991, the archive began as a collection of photographs relating to war and conflict but has since expanded its remit to become the vast and thematically diverse repository it is today.