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Title: Bringing the war back home : the anti-war photomontages of Martha Rosler (1967-2008)
Author: Davis, August Jordan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 1929
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2011
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This doctoral thesis investigates the question 'How and why does Martha Rosier, artist and activist, bring the wars of Vietnam and Iraq back home time and again?' The aims of the investigation are to consider the two series of Martha Rosier's photomontages entitled "Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful" (1967 -1972) and "Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful, New Series" (2004 - 2008). The aims of such a consideration include: address of the photomontages themselves asthey relate to Rosier's particular development of a critical and activist photomontage practice (as initially developed in her feminist photomontage series "Beauty Knows No Pain: Body Beautiful" (1965 - 1974)); examination of original source images appropriated by Rosier for the making of her works, citing their original locations (work not undertaken previously by other scholars) and the events, scenes and valences thereof within these original photographs; theoretical propositions for how one can read the critical narratives and operative critiques embodied by Rosier's photomontages; and a consideration of the meta-commentary instantiated by Rosier's renewal of the anti-war photomontage series in light of 'the war on terror'. Results achieved This thesis has achieved a comprehensive overview of Martha Rosier's project as both artist and activist to bring the American wars in Vietnam and Iraq back home to the USas a work of anti-war activism, provoking a conversation with the population whose representatives in government are pursuing these foreign adventures in their names. The thesis achieves propositional readings ofthe theoretical workings of Rosier's images, alongside offering a historical contextualisation of both Rosier's extra-artistic activism and of the events depicted in her works which have not been recorded by other scholars. The researching and recording of original source material appropriated by Rosier in the making of these photomontages, again not recorded by other art historians elsewhere, along with the relevance of the selected source images, has been achieved within this thesis. Furthermore, this thesis has succeeded in postulating original theoretical appreciations of not only Rosier's photomontages in both eras ofthe series, but also ofthe nature of and motivation for her very act of renewal in the second stage ofthe series "Bringing the War Home". This is achieved specifically through my theoretical reading of the series as meta-commentary on the revision isms of American history and present foreign policy decision-making, presented through my concept of the 'reboot', which is developed in sympathetic concert with Rosier's own emphasis on popular culture / mass-media imagery asthe medium for presenting her critique within the series.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; TR Photography