Exhibition Text Excerpt
Waldeck’s series of drawings and digital collages, Defeat in Detail, explores our mechanistic orientation to war and comments on the performative characteristics of safely removed ‘staged’ warfare. In this collection, Waldeck repositions images linked to the brutality of combat in other seemingly antithetical contexts- and in doing so evokes a range of potential narratives- such as ballet and theatre spaces. Images of soldiers and weaponry are juxtaposed with those of dancers and operatic and theatrical playhouses to comment on the dramatic, if not dangerously melodramatic, content and structure of represented wartime events.
In the end, Waldeck’s work serves as a stark reminder of the constructedness of all representations of war; by decontextualizing and subsequently recontextualizing images associated with both war and the performing arts, Waldeck reveals the degree to which the violence of armed “defeat” extends beyond the chaotic battlefield of war zone and is embodied in the often refined “details” of scripted representations.
-Stephen R Bennett