“Photography not only helps us to see, but it inverses our preconceptions about sight.”
For Paris Photo 2012, Daniel Blau Ltd. presents “Airborne”, a collection of aerial photographs from the great conflicts of the mid-twentieth century. The exhibition focuses on the Pacific front of the Second World War, but also on other conflicts in which the use of airplanes determined and shaped the nature of warfare. A number of pictures taken on NASA missions from 1966-1971 provide a welcome juxtaposition to the raw violence of war.
The photographs in the “Airborne” exhibition have a dual nature: the documentary and the aesthetic. As Sydney Picasso explains, aerial photographs (of war) can be seen as historical documents but also as artistic planes where the world is flattened and transformed into an aesthetic experience. Our vision of the world has been altered by photography, and even more so by airborne photography, ever since Nadar started taking pictures from a hot air balloon in the 1850s.
This collection of photographs is unique in that it shows us various aspects and landscapes of war, from semi abstract landscapes, bombs falling into clouds, elegant patterns carved into the ocean’s surface by escaping ships, to “beautiful” atomic clouds rising into the sky and the pristine choreography of jets from above.