“Everyone should see this exhibit!" exclaims sophomore nursing major Nicole Garcia. She and a group of friends had just exited the Sheldon Museum of Art after seeing its current temporary exhibit called Conflicts and Consequence. This exhibit focuses on war and what occurs after to both civilians and soldiers. As the Sheldon website explains, “Conflict and Consequence brings together more than seventy original photographs that illuminate the social and political complexities of the human condition during war and its aftermath. The exhibition focuses on the work of twelve international photographers who have dedicated their careers as journalists, documentarians, and artists to depicting the consequences of armed conflict…” For me, this exhibit did exactly as it was designed to do.
I felt heavy and sobered at what I was seeing. However, I also felt stirred by the ultimate truths of the nature of war. Additionally, I felt frustrated at myself for not knowing about what happens off of the battlefront. “We’re very patriotic in the United States, but we never see the other side of war”, says sophomore nursing student Kathryn Kruzich. The exhibit is littered with photos of soldiers in the midst of war. It raises questions of mental health. How war affects the psyche of those who are fighting. In addition to soldiers, the exhibit also puts the spotlight on those who are hurt most of all—civilians.
“Whenever we look back at history we look at who was good or bad, but we never look at the civilians affected. It’s important for us to empathize with [them],” states junior history education major Gabriela Marquez. Conflicts and Consequence forces us to take a good, hard look at the damage war causes to not only our “side” but at the innocents that are dragged into the chaos.
I believe everyone should see this exhibit. It’s not only breathtaking but enlightening. As Pablo Picasso once said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls”. This is exactly what Conflicts and Consequence attempts to do. It will transport you outside of normal everyday life into a world of enlightenment and understanding.
Conflicts and Consequence is at the Sheldon Museum of Art now through May 7. The Sheldon is University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s very own art museum and located in downtown Lincoln. Admission is free to the public. In addition to various temporary collections that rotate throughout the year, the Sheldon also has a permanent collection that serves to inspire and foster curiosity. I hope you get the opportunity to visit and enjoy it as much as I did.
"Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content," Conflict and Consequence: Photographing War and Its Aftermath | Sheldon Museum of Art, , accessed February 24, 2017, http://www.sheldonartmuseum.org/exhibitions/conflict-and-consequence-photographing-war-and-its-aftermath.
Cameron Cizek is a sophomore guest writer studying computing.