Here’s an excerpt from my review of Boston photographer Claire Beckett’s exhibit “In Training” at the University of Rhode Island Fine Arts Center Galleries:
Private Dan Floyd lays face and belly in mud during basic training at Fort Knox in Kentucky. Boston photographer Claire Beckett shows the wet soil caked on his arms, legs, and helmet in crisp, mucky detail. He seems close to us, but cold, wet, miserable, and alone. His eyes are wide, his lips parted, as if he’s been stunned. It is one of Beckett’s most striking photos in her exhibit “In Training,” at the URI Fine Arts Center Galleries, both for its verisimilitude and its nagging artificiality.Read the rest here.
Beckett’s 10 photos here show Army and National Guard troops training in Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Kentucky over the past two years. “My photographs do not have an overtly political or partisan message,” Beckett writes. “My desire for those viewing these works is that they might consider who the individual soldiers are on a human level. I am deeply struck by how young the soldiers are, by their physical vulnerability, and by the gravity of what is asked of them.”
Claire Beckett, “In Training,” University of Rhode Island Fine Arts Center Galleries, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston, R.I., Sept. 14 to Oct. 28, 2007.
Beckett also has similar photos in her exhibit “Simulating Iraq” at Bernard Toale Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, Oct. 3 to Nov. 10, 2007.
Pictured from top to bottom: “Private Dan Floyd at Basic Training, Fort Knox, KY,” 2007; “Private Rebecca Hill at Basic Training, Fort Jackson, SC,” 2006; “Private Kendra Duffy, Private Allison Bronner and Private Jessica-Ann Layug dressed as villagers at Basic Training, Fort Jackson, SC,” 2006.