The Hippo


May 27, 2020








“War/No War” by Linda Bond

See “Shadow War”

Where: Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 N. River Road, Manchester
When: Feb. 27 through April 5. There’s a panel discussion with a reception to follow on Thursday, March 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. The panel discussion includes comments by Dr. Kenneth Nivison, Dr. Vanessa Rocco and Linda Bond. The discussion will draw on subjects addressed in the book and on the issues that concern Bond, as she expressed them through art.
Admission: Free

Saturated with news
Linda Bond’s NYT-inspired war exhibition at SNHU

By Kelly Sennott

Linda Bond reads the paper edition of the New York Times every day. Whenever she sees a war-related item that resonates with her, she tears out the page and adds it to her trove of images.
Her collection is comprised of about 15 years’ worth of files.
Viewers will see some of these clippings re-interpreted by the Massachusetts-based artist at Southern New Hampshire University’s McIninch Art Gallery from Feb. 27 through April 5. The exhibition, “Shadow Wars,” explores the experience of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as filtered through the media lens.
She began these war series — with the full extent of her work on her website, — in the late 1990s. She was highly affected by the ethnic cleansing going on during the Kosovo War, and after Sept. 11, she spent even more time reading and snipping and art-making. Initially, her work in researching and drawing and collaging was an attempt to understand what was going on. 
“In some ways, we’re oversaturated with information. And it seems to have an opposite effect; instead of informing us, it seems to be numbing us. There’s so much coming at you,” Bond said. “The news these days seems to not be so much about delivering factual information as it is about delivering opinion. It’s hard to get the essential facts about what’s going on.”
McIninch Art Gallery Director Debbie Disston wanted to show Bond’s work due to its relation to this year’s SNHU Common book selection, What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel, which examines various issues that fall under the category of justice, Disston wrote in an email. 
“They’re both looking at, what is the right thing to do? While Michael Sandler addresses it in a variety of topics, Linda is specifically addressing it in terms of warfare and how our society communicates  to the general public about warfare, and how we, as a society, deal with the morality of warfare,” Disston said in a follow-up phone conversation.
Part of this exhibition is a special installation specifically for the Manchester gallery. Starting next Tuesday, Bond will create a mural that physically contains some of these newspaper clippings, though it might take a minute to recognize them; at first glance, the mural looks like a mass of drones in a smoky sky.
But the smoke, you’ll find as you look closer, is actually made from New York Times article text, which was scanned, reconstructed and re-printed on transparent sheets of Mylar, Bond said in a phone interview. Each silhouette drawing, she said, correlates with a particular war-related incident.
Bond is very passionate about ending wartime casualties, and with her art, sort of un-numbing the wars’ effects.
“My work is just about addressing that: the essential facts of what’s going on, and to bring attention to the things I think I need to bring attention to,” Bond said. “With the drones, we have become more and more distanced from the fact that we’re involved in these very violent acts. Now we have men who can sit in Arizona and drop bombs on people halfway around the world.”
On the other walls, you’ll find a collection of 200 more collage pieces, smaller and situated close to one another. In total (not all would fit here), Bond has made more than 350, which refers to the approximate number of American airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2012 and to a similar number that occurred in Pakistan since the United States began its drone program there in 2004, Bond wrote on her website. These, too, depict drones and smoke and, in some cases, plane crashes re-created in silhouettes from newspaper and black paint.
Among these, there are a few larger, seemingly more traditional pieces, the images of which were inspired or taken from the New York Times articles. They appear to be large, black and white graphite drawings of flags, drones and smoke. But these were created with gunpowder. This medium, she said, is metaphorical. Here, it’s being used in creation rather than destruction. 
As seen in the February 20, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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