All affirm our guesses that the images are of the Middle East and the time period is present day. But despite the clear signposts, Brunet’s pictures turn out to be indefinite and ambiguous. It comes not only as a surprise, but also as an explanation to learn that the ambiguity in these expressions and backgrounds result from the fact that the photographs are not taken in real world combat zones but are instead frozen moments pulled from video games. By isolating the soldiers and drawing one’s attention to the backdrops that are often unconsidered in the context of a screen and the game player, Brunet is successfully commenting on the surreality of virtual entertainment worlds created via avatars and algorithms that are in turn based on real-life, drawing us back in to consider the inherent surreality of war itself. 
Amanda Lang

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