Friday, October 17, 2008

Barbican Art Gallery: This Is War! Robert Capa at Work

D-Day landings, 1944-- Robert Capa
An exhibit of Robert Capa’s photographs, titled This is War! Robert Capa at Work, opened last night at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. The gallery has stated that the exhibit serves to explore the photographers work as well as foster discussion about the “the West’s ‘War on Terror’”. In a sense, the Barbican Art Gallery is stressing that war never changes and that destruction is always the end result. The exhibition includes over 150 images and will be open until January 25th 2009.

Robert Capa (1913-1954) is considered to be one of the leading photographers of the twentieth century. Capa defined how modern warfare was photographed. As a combat photographer he documented the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, various locations and battles during World War II, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the First Indochina War.
Take care, Stay true,
Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor

1 comment:

luca pagni said...

Please read what Richard Welah had indicated in "This Is War! Robert Capa at Work":

"The image, known as Death of a Loyalist militiaman or simply The Falling Soldier, has become almost universally recognized as one of the greatest war photographs ever made (fig. 40). The photograph has also generated a great deal of controversy. In recent years, it has been alleged that Capa staged the scene, a charge that has forced me to undertake a fantastic amount of research
over the course of two decades. (Nota 3)

I have wrestled with the dilemma of how to deal with a photograph that one believes to be genuine but that one cannot know with absolute certainty to be a truthful documentation.

with a caption mentioning the doubts that have been raised about its authenticity ?

Has the taint of suspicion rendered it permanently impotent ?

Will Capa's photograph have to be relegated to the dustbin of history ?

As I will attempt to demonstrate here, the truth concerning The Falling Soldier is neither black nor white.

It is neither a photograph of a man pretending to have been shot, nor an image made during what we would normally consider the heat of battle."

"3 For a review of the debates and evidence both pro and con, see the comprehensive dossier compiled by photography critic Luca Pagni at
Proponents of the argument that The Falling Soldier was faked include Phillip Knightley (to be discussed below) and Caroline Brothers; for the latter, see her War and Photography: A Cultural History (London: Routledge, 1997), pp. 178-84."


"23 Francisco Moreno Gómez, La Guerra Civil en Córdoba (1936-1939), 2d ed. (Madrid: Editorial Alpuerto, 1986). Ed. note: Richard Whelan was in the process of rethinking this text in light of new information when he died in May 2007, and the editors have here supplemented his argument with relevant documentation. Unfortunately, despite Brotóns's claim, no such conclusive evidence of the date and place of Borrell's death, much less that he was the only member of the Columna Alcoyana to die on September 5, 1936, has been found, by either Brotóns or other interested historians. It does not exist, as previously thought, in Moreno Gómez's study. Subsequent research in other archives has likewise produced no official documentation of Borrell's death. For example, photo historian Luca Pagni has contacted and received negative responses from several archives, including the Archivo General Militar in Madrid and in Segovia; see
See also for the views of another Alcoy historian, Miguel Pascual Mira, who believes that Federico Borrell was killed at Cerro Muriano on September 5, 1936, but has been unable to locate supporting documentation in any archive. Nevertheless, strong circumstantial evidence does support the identification of Federico Borrell García as Capa's falling soldier, and the date and place of his death as September 5, 1936, at Cerro Muriano."


"25 See"