Milica Tomic One Day (2009)MyWar

FACT, Wood Street
12th March - 30th May 2010

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan

There's a war going on at FACT and it's on many fronts. This intriguing exhibition, spread out liberally across the three shiny floors of the building, is a multi-faceted collection of twelve artists' work - all on the theme of war and the way we experience it. With video installations, sculpture, photography and more making up this exhibition, there are a variety of styles on offer here.

Whether it be first hand experience, observations of a third party or protests from the concerned, the personal aspect of this exhibition is the most striking. It's also the most important part of what war is actually about. An exhibition based on war might be purely explosions and warscapes, but My War features pieces such as Dunne and Raby's 'Huggable Atomic Mushroom Cloud', two cuddly toy-like representations of the mushroom cloud that are so simple as to be automatically fascinating. Another notable piece is Milica Tomic's 'One Day', a series of images depicting a woman walking unnoticed through the streets carrying a rather large gun. Renzo Martens' 'Episode One' is also worth a look. A film where the author runs with no shame through various war zones seeking answers and questioning the people he meets along the way, it is genuinely thought provoking in that it subverts your expectations of such a film by making the supposed victims look at the artist himself and ask "what do you think of me?", garnering various responses.

It is possible to rave on even more about My War and its stimulating approach and contents, but it is best viewed from your own perspective. The quality of the work on display is beyond doubt, and as with all of FACT's exhibitions, it is well presented, making good use of the bountiful space they have on offer. There is a lot to take in, so you may want to spend some time looking or visit over a few days as this reviewer did. Whichever way you choose to experience My War, you'll almost certainly enjoy it and leave with more than just the idea of having been to an average exhibition.

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