Meunier - Glitched

Luke Meunier


The effects of war on a human being is unlike anything we could imagine, yet has been in practice since humanity began. Exposure to the horrors of modern military technologies can truly break the mind. World War I saw the rise of untold thousands of cases of “Shell Shock''. This disorder puzzled doctors who tried to find a cure to this unusual affliction, yet doctors today still struggle with the solution to PTSD.

This work is only a fraction of my holistic Honors in The Major project, where I expand upon countless truths that veterans of contemporary conflicts share. I use action figures and miniatures to mold and form my images to present the most realistic, historically accurate and emotional work possible. My combined usage of photographic and scenographic techniques, push the limit to what many conventionally think photography to be. The possibilities with the scanner remain endless, the freedom to create images without a camera was enticing and provided me with the opportunity to create more than I could have ever expected to create. This experimentation led me to this image. By using a flatbed scanner, and physical movement of the figure being scanned, I was able to effectively glitch the image to get the desired effect.

This scenographic image reveals a portrait of a First World War English infantryman in a lost daze. This being a focused portrait of the larger installation piece, the full image displays a full body image of the soldier with footsteps leading to his feet.

The path he walked that led him to end in this shattered state. The footsteps to his body begin to rumble as he remembers the earth-shattering horrors he's faced, they lead to his tattered and dirty uniform, slowly coming undone. His faint skin delicately holds his eyes while his mouth is ajar, unable to shake the senses of war away. In complete battle shock, the darkness engulfs him, sets into the fragility of his battered mind, his senses lead him to lose what is reality and what is just a memory. The unknowing complexities of his mind slowly unwind and glitches in the incomprehension of what he has witnessed takes flight. The image watches you from all angles, grasping for understanding.

My research and inspiration of this piece was impacted by archival video documentation of allied soldiers in mental and military hospitals, suffering from hysteria, night terrors and reactive panic attacks. My goal for this work was to pay homage to the countless individuals who have endured the consequences of war in the past and raise awareness of the ongoing challenges faced by those who serve in conflict zones today. I want to honor those who have sacrificed themselves in the face of uncertain times and who have fought bravely for their beliefs no matter the toll it may take. The day a soldier truly dies, is the day when they are forgotten.