Updated Tue, Nov 26, 2013 11:38 am
The photo exhibit Militainment and Insects by Benjamin Montague is currently on display in Ohio University-Chillicothe's Patricia Scott Gallery.
Montague is a faculty member at Wright State University.
According to the artist’s website, his work on these particular collections evolved as he realized how the topics were surprisingly connected.
"It began as an escape, an exercise to see how light passed through and around [the insects’] bodies. I was like a child peering through a microscope for the first time," said Montague. "Soon, though, [they] began to take on a deeper meaning as I realized how intertwined the photos were with my imagery of war. The fragile, temporal corpses of these imperfect specimens are like memories, a beautiful fleeting reminder of life and death."
The pieces in the Militainment portion of the gallery play off of the images featured in his Images of Conflict collection. He zoned in on America’s current fascination with interactive military simulations and video games and the rising demand for such commercialized entertainment.
"Since 9/11, we have seen the demand for battlefield style, first-person shooter war games rise dramatically. This work attempts to explore the space between realism/authenticity and entertainment in the military gaming industry. I am intrigued by this symbiotic relationship, and visually explore this through my images," he said of the photos.
According to Montague, these pieces explore the question of whether these types of games allow young people to developing an emotional connection to ongoing wars and the individuals fighting in them or if they are simply creating a culture desensitized to violence.
Montague is an associate professor of photography at Wright State. He earned his MFA degree from the University of Delaware and his bachelor’s degree from Marlboro College.
He has exhibited his work widely and is currently represented by Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, N.M., and Works on Paper Gallery in Philadelphia, Pa. He has won several grants, including an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award.
His work is included in collections of the Columbus Museum of Art and the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.
The Patricia Scott Gallery is located in OU-Chillicothe's Bennett Hall. Militainment and Insects will be on display through Dec. 24.