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New Yorker Review: Simon Norfolk at Benrubi Gallery

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 13, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 2, 2014
DATE: October 13, 2011

Bruke + Norfolk

Through December 3, 2011

The battle between progress and regress is highlighted in the new work of Simon Norfolk. The title Bruke + Norfolk tributes the work of John Bruke and anchors a line in history that Norfolk carries with his images into the present. Both British photographers covered Afganistan, Burke in the late 19th century and Norfolk today. This immediate reference to history combined with Norfolk's journalistic approach forces viewers to call process, progress, and the war itself into question. The color work is clearly from our time, but the sepia-toned images almost want to trick us. Questions are introduced when we find ourselves wondering when the images were taken. Even as we recognize the flight crew and airplanes are contemporary, the women's basket ball team and skate boarders must be of our era, yet we still have the sensation that something is trapped in the past. History becomes a defining factor in the work as we look back to Bruke and our anchoring reference- yes, progress has been made and greater equity achieved but war, past and present, remains a thorn in the side of Afganistan.

New Yorker Review

More on the exhibition at Bonni Benrubi Gallery

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