two photographs (28.5 x 21 cm each) one video projection (10:00 loop)
Silhouetted by the sun (released to the public)

In November 2006, the United States Department of Defense published a “photo essay” on its website. The photo essay, simply entitled “Detention Center”, was made up of a small series of photographs of the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention center. These photographs were all accompanied with lengthy captions explaining what the US military wished to depict in the images.

Two of the captions explained how “the setting sun” was providing the light in the images, each of which depicted an older part of the detention facility, where prisoners had originally been held in outdoor cages. The images, it seemed, were to show that these facilities, which have attracted such strong criticism from the international community, were no longer in use.

At the same time that these images appeared on the US military’s website, an article was published there which complained of the gross misrepresentations of the camp in the international media. These misrepresentations had included, the article alleged, the continued publication of images from old outmoded facilities which have now been out of use for several years. The images lit by the setting sun were more accurate and up-to-date according to this report, which went on to point out that these old cages were now included as a stop on the detention center “press tour” in which, according to the article, over 1000 journalists have participated.

There are over 800 images depicting sun -set, -rise, or -silhouette motifs on the US military’s website.* A 10-minute video selection of over 200 of these images, showing the most popular motif of figures “silhouetted by the sun”, as the captions that accompany most of these images in the online archives often describe them, is projected alongside the two printed photographs of the sun setting on Camp X-Ray and the captions that accompanied these images on the Department of Defense website.

* For a description of the online image archives of the U.S. military, see my brief text “An Ideal Media” in the public newspaper project OBS! distributed in Denmark in Autumn 2006, available at