The photographic series refers to the student demonstration against the Dow Chemical Company at the University of Wisconsin Madison on October 18, 1967, which marked turning points in both the anti-Vietnam war movement and in law enforcement’s response to that movement. What began as a peaceful sit-in against campus recruitment by Dow Chemical, manufacturers of napalm, ended in a bloody police action against the protesters. The sight of officers personally assaulting students—beating them with nightsticks—caused many students and faculty spontaneously to reevaluate their positions on the war.
Matthew Buckingham’s traveling solo exhibition, Play the Story, can be seen at the Henry Art Gallery from July 12 to September 12, 2008. His work is currently also on view in Fluid Street, KIASMA, Hensinki, Headlines and Footnotes, Henie Onstad Art Centre, OsloFörlust/Loss, The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden, Peripheral Look and Collective Body, Museion, Bolzano, Italy, and The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC. He lives and works in New York.