Deadly Designs

Photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s new collection of work examines some of the myths surrounding contemporary Israel where, quite often, things aren’t really as they first appear. A series of mundane objects – a melon, a beer can, a rock, for example – in fact turn out to be bombs or, rather, re-creations of bombs made by the Israeli Police Force’s Bomb Disposal Unit (based on the designs used in actual attacks) and now housed in their informal museum in Jerusalem which reveals when and where they were used and how many people were injured or killed.

Rock

Photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s new collection of work examines some of the myths surrounding contemporary Israel where, quite often, things aren’t really as they first appear. A series of mundane objects – a melon, a beer can, a rock, for example – in fact turn out to be bombs or, rather, re-creations of bombs made by the Israeli Police Force’s Bomb Disposal Unit (based on the designs used in actual attacks) and now housed in their informal museum in Jerusalem which reveals when and where they were used and how many people were injured or killed.

Melon
Tin
Beer can

While bomb detection becomes more advanced in the Middle East, so do the methods to disguise these deadly creations: re-made here using papier-mâché, wood, wire and found objects.

This disquieting series of images forms part of the photographic duo’s new book, Chicago. The book’s title refers to the artificial Arab town built at Tze’elim Military Base in the Negev Desert where the Israeli Defense Force has rehearsed military operations for over 30 years. Essentially a practice ground for inner-city warfare (the architecture is based on Palestinian towns like Ramallah and Nablus) the first part of this fascinating book conveys the disturbing atmosphere of this entirely fabricated town.

Mini Israel
Detail from Mini Israel, a huge scale model of some of the country’s attractions

Images of Mini Israel, a huge scale model of the country’s holy sites, hotels and nature parks – a nostalgic depicition of the country in miniature – also feature in this stimulating collection where design and craft skills are, in some cases, employed to devastating effect.

Chicago is published by steidlMACK at £30

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Mapping London

Charles Booth’s Descriptive Map of London Poverty, published in 1889, revealed that over a third of Londoners lived in poverty. It was colour-coded to indicate the levels of poverty and prosperity street by street. While the red colouring showed the habitat of the “well-to-do, middle class”, pale blue and dark blue revealed the areas inhabited by the “poor” and “very poor” respectively. Here, the black area in the centre (Bethnal Green) contained the “lowest class; vicious, semi-criminal.”
The British Library’s show, London: A Life in Maps, ends this weekend. If you haven’t been down (it’s free) we wholly recommend a trip over to Euston Road. The exhibition traces how the capital has been depicted since the earliest images of the walled City in the 1550s. On show are some of the earliest examples of wayfinding – the ancestry of the London A-Z if you like. While many of the cruder, hand drawn maps offer up a somewhat distorted vision of a growing city (often for political reasons), the large-scale, engraved depictions of the capital are astoundingly accurate and detailed.

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Dylanologists of the World Unite (and sticker…)

A sheet of 12 stickers (just like the one shown above) that celebrate the documentary film The Ballad of AJ Weberman, is included in each copy of Creative Review this month. Happy stickering!
When filmmakers Oliver Ralfe and James Bluemel discovered a 1960s recording of a phone conversation between self-professed Dylanologist AJ Weberman and Bob Dylan, it peaked their curiosity…

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