Published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, In the Aftermath of Trauma presents the work of contemporary video artists from around the world who use their medium to probe traumatic experiences and their aftermath. Engaging with historical events such as the Holocaust, the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Vietnam War, and the conflicts between India and Pakistan, these artists use the semi-documentary format to delve into the very nature of trauma, offering ways of comprehension that go beyond either head-on confrontation or denial and repression. In lieu of this dichotomy, each piece in the exhibition reveals a more nuanced and complex relationship between the past event and its present ramifications. The works in the exhibition have a thematic emphasis on the present aftereffects of historical trauma and the future possibility of closure in either the real world or the imaginary realms of the artists.
Replete with beautiful color images of each installation, the book is rounded out with an essay by Sabine Eckmann that looks at the relationship between trauma and contemporary art and contextualizes the pieces included in the book.