War Primer 2
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
Limited Edition of 100 copies
Original Bertolt Brecht hardback book (this edition published 1998) with text silkscreened into the book and 85 colour images tipped-in by hand
War Primer 2 is a limited edition book that physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht’s remarkable 1955 publication War Primer.
The original is a collection of Brecht’s newspaper clippings, each accompanied by a four-line poem that he called Photo-epigrams. It was the culmination of almost three decades of intermittent activity. The title deliberately recalls the textbooks used to teach elementary school children how to read; Brecht’s book is a practical manual, demonstrating how to “read” or “translate” press photographs. Brecht was profoundly uneasy about the affirmative role played by the medium within the political economy of capitalism and referred to press photographs as heiroglyphics in need of decoding.
War Primer 2 is the belated sequel. While Brecht’s War Primer was concerned with images of the Second World War, War Primer 2 is concerned with the images of conflict generated by both sides of the so-called “War on Terror”.