Anti-Aircraft Gunner Artist(s)Dmitri BaltermantsArtist NationalityRussian (culture or style)Object Creation Datecirca 1941-1945, printed 2003Medium & Supportgelatin silver print on paperDimensions
16 in x 20 in (40.64 cm x 50.8 cm)Credit LineGift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80Subject matter
In this photograph, the dark silhouettes of a round metal helmet and the barrel of an anti-aircraft gun are cast in stark relief against a partly cloudy sky. The viewer takes up a position just behind and below the left shoulder of a young Soviet soldier who points his weapon upward, evidently ready for enemy aircraft. The role of vision in defense against an aerial attack is both reinforced and paradoxically frustrated in this image: the prominently placed target and the binoculars of the man near the lower-left corner both indicate technologies for enhancing and focusing vision—functions arguably reiterated by the camera lens itself—and yet the enemy on whom these men and the viewer wait remains out of sight. This image forms part of Baltermants’ larger project—as an official photographer to the Kremlin—which, spread across numerous portfolios, aimed to document scenes from the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazi Germany during World War II (1939-1945), known in the USSR as the Great Patriotic War. Physical Description
View down the barrel of an anti-aircraft gun seen from behind the shoulder of a young soldier; another soldier with binoculars is visible in the lower left.Primary Object ClassificationPhotographCollection AreaPhotographyRights
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