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Composed of two successive medium-format negatives, this photograph focuses on the facial detail of Warrior B, one of two High Classical bronze male figures of Greek origin (circa 460-440 BCE) found on the seabed off Riace in the southern Italian province of Reggio Calabria.
Warrior B and the accompanying figure Warrior A, were photographed by Hazewinkel during a period of material analysis and conservation.
Typically erect in customised rooms at the National Archaeological Museum of Reggio Calabria Italy, Warrior B stands at 199cm and Warrior A 198cm. However, during the period in which these photographs were made the figures lay side-by-side in provisional structures which (to Hazewinkel) resembled hospital gurneys. The setting in which the figures were photographed was a temporary makeshift laboratory with triage-like qualities, set up in the foyer of the municipal government headquarters of Reggio Calabria. For Hazewinkel the figure’s horizontality and the emergency-room qualities of the photographic setting coalesced to imbue these famously heroic figures with a sense of vulnerability. While the precise identity of these figures remains uncertain they are conventionally known as Warrior A and B further nuancing the sense of vulnerability. That sensibility is further enhanced by the fact that with the exception of Warrior B’s right index finger the figures remain wholly intact; all that is missing from these exquisite figures is their weaponry and shields of which only vestigial and gestural evidence remains.
The figures are the subject of Hazewinkel’s 4. 44 min single channel HD video Warrior A Warrior B first presented at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Please watch the video here
Photographic permissions courtesy Ministero per i Beni e le Attivita Culturali Soperintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Calabria.