The exhibition At war takes a look at the experience of war, though it follows a thematic rather than a chronological order, stopping to analyse the different phases of a conflict.
‘If we describe a war, first we have to speak of the preliminaries, such as the generals' speeches, the money invested on both sides and their fears; secondly, of the attacks, the killings and the dead; and finally, of the trophy of victory, of the triumphal song of the winners and of the tears and slavery of the victims.'
As part of the preparations for war, the themes in question are the socialisation of violence, the construction of the enemy and the causes of the conflict. During hostilities, the exhibition focuses on the experience of soldiers and civilians, and on the action of the combat. And when the war is over, at the moment of victory or defeat, it looks at capitulation treaties, trials for war crimes and, finally, remembrance of the events, reflected in monuments and testimonies.
The exhibition therefore addresses the question of what war is, the different facets of the experience of war, its direct impact on individuals and communities and its formalised representation in cultural products.
To this end, the exhibition combines paintings, photography, film, conceptual art and installations, documents and objects, all from very different sources. The artists signing the numerous works on show include, among others, Otto Dix, Leon Golub, George Grosz, Philip Guston, Alfredo Jaar, Oskar Kokoschka, Barbara Kruger, Mikhail Larichev, Mikhail Larionov , Fernand Léger, Kasimir Malevich , Antoni Miralda, Henry Moore, Robert Morris, Paul Nash, Adi Ness, Christopher Nevinson, Robert Capa, Larry Burrows, John Hoagland, James Nachtwey, Peter Turnley, Gilles Caron, Simon Norfolk, Gilles Peress, Martha Rosler, Gino Severini, Félix Vallotton, Gervasio Sánchez, and Jake and Dinos Chapman.
The exhibition, curated by Antonio Monegal, Francesc Torres and José María Ridao, adapts to the principles and aims of the Forum and forms part of its programme under the thematic heading of The conditions of peace.