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Dead Troops Talk (a vision after an ambush of a Red Army Patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986)

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transparency in lightbox
90 1/8 x 164 1/8 in. (228.92 x 416.88 cm)

About This Artwork

One of the most influential photographers to emerge in the last thirty years, Jeff Wall creates elaborately staged transparencies that are displayed in light boxes. Wall’s photographs conjure moments of strange resonance, mixing art historical references with subtle conceptual strategies and juxtapositions to offer a critique of modern living. In Dead Troops Talk, Wall captures an intricate fictional scene that resembles at once a painting of war and a still from a zombie horror film. Staged in several parts, the photograph depicts a battlefield with soldiers coming back to life. The men show a range of emotional responses to their newfound transcendence, from humor to confusion. In a strange paradox, the troops appear more concerned with interpersonal relationships than with the historical meaning of their own actions.