New Installation In Flatiron Reveals The Art Of War Reporting

December 1, 2014 | Prachi Gupta

A set of about 50 Vietnam-era steel helmets, grazed by bullets in battle, now sit on display in the narrow Flatiron Prow Artspace on Fifth Avenue. They are wrapped in mementos, photos, and notes taken not by soldiers or the faceless victims of war, but by other, often unseen witnesses — war correspondents.

The exhibition’s curator, Cheryl McGinnis, described the focus of artist Cindy Kane’s piece to the New York Times, saying, “Soldiers are our boots on the ground, but journalists are our eyes on the ground.” Thus, the exhibition title “Eyes on the Ground.”

It features the work of “reporters and editors Steven Erlanger, Raymond Bonner, Kirk Semple, Jane Perlez, Ethan Bronner, Anthony Shadid, the photographer Lynsey Addario and more than 40 of their colleagues,” reported the Times.

The helmets, covered in business cards, personal notes, letters of permission, band-aid wrappers, inscriptions, and money, among other notes, illustrate how a reporter embedded in war finds narrative and facts among the chaos. Bonner told the Times, “I thought the idea of putting these very personal remains of my experience onto an impersonal combat helmet, alongside those of colleagues I have known or admired, was a moving one.”

(Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)