“Right from the start, almost every appearance he made was catastrophic… Catastrophe is his means of operation, and his central instrument of governance.” – 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, Photography feature – 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.
Holy Bible is a co-publication between MACK and the AMC.
The London-based artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin have become the first duo to win the Deutsche Börse photography prize. They were presented with the £30,000 award by the film director Mike Figgis at a ceremony last evening at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, which sponsors the prize.