The Media & Myth exhibition brings together material produced for the London College of Communication’s NAM research project, which explores the role of the mass media in the reporting and memory of the Vietnam War.
Participants in the project have taken diverse approaches to this broad topic, from examining the consequences of the ways that photography was used to record the conflict, to looking at the culture of underground zine production that took place amongst US servicemen stationed in south-east Asia. They have also used a wide array of media to express their findings, from writing essays to producing photo collages and video installations.
The exhibition also includes photographs drawn from the Stanley Kubrick archive, which proved to be a key resource for many of the participants in the NAM project. On display are images produced during the making of the director’s 1985 Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, which show how Kubrick sought to reinvent Becton Gas Works in East London as the set of a battle scarred Vietnamese city. The exhibition coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident.
This attack by North Vietnamese boats on the warship USS Maddox was used by the United States government as a pretext to escalate it’s military involvement in Vietnam,despite furnishing only scant evidence in the form of a series of grainy and indistinct photographs. The consequences of this escalation for the people of Vietnam and the United States, reveal the huge power of the mass media in shaping the way wars are fought and subsequently remembered.
The exhibition is curated by: Lewis Bush and Monica Alcazar-Duarte.
Participating artists: Jacob Balzani, Madeleine Corcoran, Cinzia D’Ambrosi, Julia Johnson, Veronika Lukasova, Steve Mepsted, Amin Musa, Linka A. Odom, Lewis Bush and Monica Alcazar-Duarte.