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Artist – Peggy Ahwesh

Lessons of War, 2014

Microscope Gallery
329 Willoughby Avenue, 2B
Brooklyn 11237

T: (1) 347.925.1433

“Intrigued by a Taiwanese company that makes short animations to relay world news, I downloaded 50 or so and re-edited them into episodes about the 2014 Israeli-Gaza war. The “cuteness effect” of the cartoon form, and the buffer it allows from reality, makes for economical and stress-free viewing. We get the information in an abstract and simplified form, easy to convey the narrative of war with a post-image sensitivity to the viewer.” – Peggy Ahwesh

For the five-monitor installation Lessons of War Peggy Ahwesh has repurposed animated news reports of current world events to create a series of episodes about the conflict in the Gaza Strip last summer that play on each monitor, slightly offset. The personal narration of actual events reflects the artist’s urge to freeze in time certain stories among the fleeting deluge of up-to-the-minute news. Ahwesh’s re-editing of graphic animation footage parallels her 2001 video She Puppet, in this case to critique the qualities of antiseptic and distant violence. Lessons of War also exists as a single-channel work.

Peggy Ahwesh is a media artist who got her start in the 1970′s with Super 8mm filmmaking. She is known for her use of a wide range of moving image formats in a body of work combining various experimental narrative and documentary approaches, often involving personal elements. Ahwesh’s work has exhibited worldwide including at the New Museum, New York, NY; MoCA, Los Angeles, CA; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Tate Modern, London, UK; Guggenheim Museum, Bilboa, Spain and her films featured at the Whitney Biennial, NY (5 editions); The American Century, Whitney Museum, NY; and at WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, MoMA P.S.1, Queens, NY. Her works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress among others. She has received numerous grants and awards including from the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, and the Alpert Award in the Arts. Peggy Ahwesh is Professor of Film & Electronic Arts at Bard College and was born in Pittsburgh, PA.