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Daniel Alexander. Headstone re-engraving: Ovillers Military Cemetery, France. Quarry to Stone, 2013.
C-Type Print.

Daniel Alexander: When War Is Over

April 28 - June 17, 2018

Curated by Sara Knelman

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorates the 1.7 million war dead, including over 100,000 Canadians, whose names are etched in stone across some 2,500 cemeteries, 21,000 other burial grounds, and 200 memorials to the missing in 153 countries throughout the world. British artist Daniel Alexander’s reexamination of this epic monument, When War Is Over, considers the legacies of this act of commemoration at its centenary.

Alexander’s images take a range of stylistic approaches and distances: a time-lapse video of the construction of a memorial site; appropriated satellite views of the cemeteries; documentary photographs of the industrial processes of their construction; closely cropped images of individual gravestones and epitaphs; and photographic copies of letters and other documents that tell the story of one man’s death in action. As we move from a distant overview to the most intimate encounter, how does our changing perspective reorient our understanding of, or alter our feelings for, this act of commemoration? What gets lost and what is gained, as we get closer or further away? What is the correct distance—physical, temporal, emotional—for making sense of war?

When War Is Over is a Primary Exhibition of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.


This project was conceived by Daniel Alexander and Andrew Haslam, who together undertook the research and sourced the documents included in this exhibition. They would like to thank Lois Haslam for permission to reproduce the J.H Brown documents.

Presented in partnership with

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