David Cotterrell exhibited Theatre (2008) at the Media Facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb. This is a selection of the images of the exhibition shot by Tomislav Smider. Theatre (2008) by David Cotterrell was one of the artworks that I selected and curated for the exhibition titled Dislocations that was part of the Official Parallel Program of the 12th Istanbul Biennial and of ISEA2011 Istanbul.
Senior curators: Lanfranco Aceti and Tihomir Milovac.
The piece is a collection of images from “an aeromed flight from Camp Bastion to Kandahar. In 2007, Cotterrell was commissioned by the Wellcome Collection to travel to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with the assistance of the Ministry of Defence, to observe the work of the joint forces medical teams at Camp Bastion.” (Text courtesy of the artist.)
I have to say that what has fascinated me is the ‘dislocation’ of this piece. Zagreb brings back to my mind memories of the war and of the time I have spent there during the conflict. Therefore, to re-locate images of the current war in Afghanistan in a place now in peace but that was in the recent past a site of conflict is somewhat unsettling, at least to me. If then we look at the images on the Media Facade above people eating and drinking in the Museum’s cafe, the whole event becomes surreal and somewhat unhinged from logic and reality. Dislocations, in its curatorial framework as I conceived it, was exactly about these clashes in the re-localization and re-contextualizations of meanings across spaces and cultural contexts.