Late Nights at the Whitney
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Working with Artist-in-Residence Nina Berman, YI Writers began the semester developing their own definitions of war, whether it involved conflicts between nations, battles between human beings and nature, or opponents in a board game. Through a generous consignment by Nikon, Inc., YI Writers learned photographic skills on Nikon D5000 digital SLR cameras, and used them to capture and convey their own interpretations of war.
War is present in all aspects of our lives; it affects every decision we make. Simple war principles and tactics can be applied not only to combat but also to board games. Napoleon was a charismatic general who was able to conquer most of continental Europe by creating an army that was loyal and eager to fight. By pairing photographs of people playing war-based board games, such as Risk and Battleship, with Napoleon’s quotes, it symbolizes war’s prominent position in daily life. From an early age, people are taught how to compete to get what they want. Because this feeling is instilled at such a young age, people are always trying to be the best at what they do. One of Napoleon’s major tactics was to tell his soldiers that they were winning no matter how badly they were losing or how big the other army was. If people feel they are winning, they have more self-confidence and motivation to fight. Because confidence is so intertwined with war, war is essential to any human success, no matter how awful it might be.