above: Playing Boule in the Valley of the Shadow of Death / 2011,
HD video installation, 6:07 min, sound: Sibin Vassilev
below: Roger Fenton, The valley of the shadow of death, Crimea 1855, salted paper, 28x36 cm, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
The videoinstallation is based on a historical image. It is one of the earliest and most famous war images in the history of war photography. It was made during the Crimean War in 1855 by the British photographer Roger Fenton. The place where the photo was made is called "The Valley of the Shadow of Death“, which is also the title of the photo. It shows a boring landscape with a country road in the middle that is littered with about 250 cannonballs. The reason to make a work about this photo is a scientific discussion, whether the photographer has staged the cannonballs on the road for his aesthetic purposes or not. My intention was to set the photo in motion and to let the cannonballs move on the battlefield. I wanted to see, how much the chance placement would influence the image and how much manipulation would be needed to make the image attractive.