Images in Transition – Wirephotos 1938-1945 by David Pace & Stephen Wirtz
Published by: Schilt Publishing
Design: Victor Levie, LevievanderMeer
Essay: Mark Murrmann
Format: 24 x 30 cm
144 pages with approx. 70 images in full color
It’s fair to say that a large number of photographic artists appropriate contemporary source material to bend, fold, and mutilate into an expression of their personal vision. David Pace & Stephen Wirtz start with source material produced almost 100 years ago. They use wirephotos from the late 30’s and 40’s and they’ve created a collection of fascinating images published in their new book, "David Pace and Stephen Wirtz : Images in Transition – Wirephotos 1938-1945".
From the book’s publisher:
David Pace and Stephen Wirtz manipulate and transform wirephotos transmitted during World War II. Beginning with an extensive collection of originals assembled by Wirtz over a period of many years, they scan the images, radically re-cropping and dramatically enlarging portions of the archival wirephotos. Their croppings and enlargements expose the artifacts of the wirephoto technology – the dots, lines, irregularities and retouchings from the war years. But the transformations introduced by Pace and Wirtz not only extend, but also reverse, the intentions of the wartime retouchers: Instead of obscuring the dots and lines to create a clearer image, Pace and Wirtz reveal and enhance the dots and lines, exposing the technological processes that produced the images.
Instead of retouching the images to create an illusion of reality, they make visible the manipulation of the images that were published as news. Instead of enhancing the content to support a narrative of just war and ethical victory, their dramatic enlargements transform wartime content into near-abstraction, creating a subtle counter narrative.
By exposing the artifacts of wirephoto technology and the actions of the human hands that retouched the images, their work highlights, transforms, and subverts the intention, the content, and the process of these wartime photographs. They raise questions about the technologies of image making and image transmission, the notion of truth in journalism, and the role of propaganda in news photography.
Information on the book is posted below.