Why Mister, Why?, by the photographer Geert van Kesteren, is an exhibition about the fanatical but disastrous American attempts to bring peace and democracy to Iraq. The exhibition is a multimedia ‘translation’ of Van Kesteren’s much-lauded and prize-winning book Why Mister, Why? (2004) to the space of a museum.
In this project Van Kesteren reveals that, despite all the media that we have at our disposal, we really have no idea what is happening in Iraq. In the exhibition more than life-size images and texts by Van Kesteren will be projected next to ‘live feed’ news reports about the current situation in Iraq. In this manner the ‘exhibition’ broaches two very topical themes: the changing position and possibilities of photojournalism (and particularly war photography) today, and the problems in the spatial presentation of photojournalism in the ‘white cube’ of the museum. Recently Geert van Kesteren has officially become a Nominee for Magnum Photo. He is the third Dutch photographer who has been allowed to connect his name with that of the photo agency. A programme of activities has been assembled to accompany the exhibition, with guided tours, discussions, workshops for students, and a debate.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Paradox and the Nederlands Fotomuseum. The design is in the hands of the Amsterdam exhibition designer Jeroen de Vries.
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Why Mister, Why?
De Irakfoto’s van Geert van Kesteren