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Joscha Steffens – OPFOR – WILDBOYZ PT.I & III
The pictures of Joscha Steffens’ series OPFOR - Wildboyz convey the impression one deals with a document of war. This impression is not at all made by the composition of the photographer or his stagings, in contrary it is created by the protagonists of a war game society, that is simulating war by stylized poses, uniforms and weapons. Members of the military, soldiers in spe and other like-minded people from around the world organized and connected through web forums eventually meet and fight in forests and other abandoned territories. They join forces in hierarchical structured armies and march into battle. The photo and video works Steffens shows us have been re- corded in Russia, whereas these games of war are taking place as well in the US, Europe and Asia. During the days of fighting all contacts to the outside world are forbidden for the participants as the created scenario shall remain ›real‹. On the boarder of society and legality they train close combat situations common for civil war scenarios, street and house fighting as well as patrolling and securing large territories in rural landscapes and forests. In an intriguing way Wildboyz brings home the lust of play and how it is connected to the lust of violence and the longing of humans for authoritarian structures.
- Giacomelli & Vitali