Taking a peak at Morris's website revealed this excellent cartoon seen below by Brandy Agerbeck. (Apparently, it is technically a "graphic facilitation" as it states on the site. Here is his definition of this curious term: "large scale images created in real-time in front of a client group while they are working and conversing.") Morris spoke at the 2006 Chicago Humanities Festival and Agerbeck provides an excellent verbal and visual account of Morris's presentation on the photographs of war:
Morris introduced us to his latest project about the Abu Ghraib, and the iconic images created from the prisoner torture. It's his hypothesis that it's a handful of those photos from that we'll remember a hundred years from now about the Iraq War. He explained that this project began with the mystery of two photos by Roger Fenton described by Susan Sontag in her book, Regarding the Pain of Others. During the Crimean War, Fenton took photos of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Two are of the same road, one with cannonballs littering the road, one with the cannonballs in the ravine. The Mystery being which photo was taken first, which was staged?
Morris's presentation mostly talked about that idea of the iconic photograph. What can we learn from them? To what extent are they posed or performance? An interesting aspect about the Abu Ghraib project is that Morris has the opportunity to interview the photographers. We have an opportunity for more context than just the images themselves.
Click on the image for a larger version. "Graphic Facilitation" by Brandy Agerbeck, From www.loosetooth.com/Viscom/gf/errol_morris.htm