Australia - Darkside II Exhibition

Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
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Darkside II: Photographic Power and Violence, Disease and Death Photographed
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The large-scale photograph Australia from the Insecurity series was included in the exhibition Darkside II: Power, Violence, Disease and Death Photographed at Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland . The museums Director Urs Stahel curated the exhibition and he along with Fotomuseum is regarded as one of the most important photography museums in the world. The exhibition included many important photographic practitioners including Nan Goldin, Walker Evans, August Sander, Cindy Sherman, Christian Boltanski, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Sophie Calle. A substantial 368-page full-colour hardback monograph including Stewarts work was published by the preeminent photographic publisher Steidl to accompany the exhibition. The work belongs to a wider group of documentary photographs taken internationally and the Australia section includes photographs of private security personnel training. Private security is a modern service industry that has grown exponentially in recent years and it is a little documented culture. Stewart has spent years developing his contacts within this secretive world and the resulting work is a rare glimpse of an industry which is usually closed to outside scrutiny. In looking at the construction of training scenarios the work also highlights the slippery notion of what is real in relationship to documentary photography as the `reality Stewart photographs are orchestrated but not by the photographer himself. The work therefore has also contributed to debates about photography itself and has been widely exhibited and published including at the UKs National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
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