ANZAC: Photographs by Laurence Aberhart

ANZAC: Photographs by Laurence Aberhart

with an introduction by Jock Phillips (Victoria University Press, 2014), 108 pp., $60

Reviewed by Nina Seja for Landfall Review Online

December 1, 2014


“The Roll of Honour”

What are the implications of cultural remembrance? As theorist Marita Sturken points out in her book Tangled Memories, the ‘process of cultural memory is bound up in complex political stakes and meanings.’ The output of publications devoted to one cataclysmic conflict in cultural memory increased substantially this year as we entered into a period of centennial commemoration for the Great War of 1914–18.

As a nation New Zealand suffered tremendous losses on the frontline, and the impact of war was felt almost equally strongly back at home, psychologically, economically, physically. One hundred years offers distance to reflect on the War’s legacy, but also an opportunity to see what types of official narratives have emerged, persisted, been revised. And beyond these historic or bureaucratic interpretations, how might artists reframe a culture remembering? Esteemed photographer Laurence Aberhart’s body of work entitled ANZAC offers one artist’s nuanced view of the event called ‘World War One’ that is at once personal and universal in its quiet critique of war and in its depiction of how memorials construct, or are invested with, the sanctity of the past.

Read full review at Landfall Review Online

Purchase ANZAC from Dunedin Public Art Gallery