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Focussing on targets

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Torn cardboard silhouettes of human beings, perforated plastic dolls or shot up tin figures in a field: for six years, Herlinde Koelbl photographed military targets in over 30 countries. From April 22 to September 18, 2016, these images are on display in the exhibition 'Targets – Photographs by Herlinde Koelbl' at the Museum of Design in Zurich.

Each one of the over 200, at times large-format, colour photographs that make up the exhibition are a testimony to the artist's confident style. For Herlinde Koelbl, however, it is about much more than just the individual picture. It is only when seen together that the works present a multi-faceted statement. Even though target ranges, armies and training grounds are different from one country to the next, one thing is clear: at the end of the day and in the worse case scenario, soldiers around the world are conditioned to target an enemy with the aim to kill. Consequently, what kind of image do we make of the enemy?  

Koelbl's photographs show both abstract targets as well as those shaped like human bodies, and even those looking like very specific types of people. The thing they all have in common is that they each represent others, that which is foreign to us.  

Further information at: Museum für Gestaltung and Herlinde Koelbl

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