About the Photographer
American, b. 1984
David Oresick discovered a poignant entry point into the experiences of American soldiers deployed to Iraq while searching amateur videos posted to YouTube by soldiers and members of their families. Oresick’s video bombards the viewer with a great variety of appropriated and edited clips, such as soldiers pulling pranks on each other, singing obscene lyrics, and visceral footage made during combat, which he intersperses with blank, white spaces of time to allow for contemplation. By making editorial selections from a seemingly endless archive of materials available through the web, then cutting, combining, and perhaps most significantly, changing the context in which the videos are viewed, Oresick has created a raw, poetic view of contemporary war. Because Oresick is not a veteran and does not have firsthand experience of the war in Iraq, Soldiers in their Youth also situates war as a distanced act that enters the lives of many American citizens through imagery and reportage. In this way, the personal posts on YouTube can serve as a counterpoint to mass media portrayals of war. His video raises questions about the American involvement in Iraq and illustrates the toll of war by portraying the soldiers as complex men and women, who are at once, in the words of Oresick “naïve and wise, frightened and brave, crude and compassionate.”
David Oresick completed an MFA from Columbia College Chicago (2010) and a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology (2007). He has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL (2014), the Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR (2011) Fotofest Houston, TX (2009, 2010), among others. He lives and works in Syracuse, NY.