Friday, 01 August 2014
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Brighton Photo Biennial

This weekend sees the opening of the month-long Brighton Photo Biennial, with a plethora of exhibitions, new commissions, events and activities taking place across the city.

Large Hangars and Fuel Storage; Tonopah Test Range, NV; Distance approx 18 miles; 10:44am, 2005 C-Print Trevor Paglen

Source: Courtesy Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne and Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco

Large Hangars and Fuel Storage; Tonopah Test Range, NV; Distance approx 18 miles; 10:44am, 2005 C-PrintTrevor Paglen

The theme this year is a broad exploration of ‘photography and the politics of space’.

Organisers say the Biennial will look at ‘how space is constructed, controlled and contested, how photography is implicated in these processes and the tensions and possibilities this dialogue involves.’

They add, ‘BPB12 provides a critical space to think about relationships between the political occupation of physical sites and the production and dissemination of images.’

 Climbing the New Court Development, 2009 Bradley Garrett, Urban Exploration

Climbing the New Court Development, 2009Bradley Garrett, Urban Exploration

The programme features works from international photographers ranging from Julian Germain’s project with the children of Brazilian favelas, to Trevor Paglen’s photographs of American classified sites to a far more local history – Brighton newspaper The Argus’ archive images of squatting and protest in Brighton.

From the Argus Archives, anti-nuclear protestors block the road by lying down. London Road, 1982

Source: Copyright The Argus

From the Argus Archives, anti-nuclear protestors block the road by lying down.London Road, 1982

The Argus project has seen Biennial curators select imagery from political squats over the past 25 years, which will be distributed throughout the festival in a free publication and displayed in the same locations they were originally made.

Two Channel Installation, Thomson and Craighead, October 2012

Two Channel Installation, Thomson and Craighead, October 2012

On a similar political bent is the specially commissioned installation by artists Thomson and Craighead, which will explore the uses of imagery by various Occupy and protest groups. Meanwhile the Occupy Everywhere series will examine the photographic culture that surrounds urban exploration.

Untitled #8, Cairo Divided, by Jason Larkin.

Untitled #8, Cairo Divided, by Jason Larkin.

Jason Larkin and Corinne Silva each look at the human and environmental impact of urbanization, respectively, in Cairo, Egypt, and southern Spain.

Corinne Silva, Port Tanger Med placed in highway leading to retail park, Murcia

Corinne Silva, Port Tanger Med placed in highway leading to retail park, Murcia

Another highlight looks set to be Digital Storytelling: Takes of the City, in the Jubilee library. East Brighton teenagers have created digital animations in response to the Biennial theme in weekly workshops throughout the summer, the results of which will be on display throughout the month.

Though talks and other events are running throughout the duration of the Biennial, this Saturday has been dubbed ‘discussion day’, with speakers including contributing artists Edmund Clark, Ronnie Close, Omer Fast, Julian Germain, Jason Larkin and Thomson & Craighead alongside  curators Celia Davies and Ben Burbridge. Panel discussions will be chaired by TJ Demos, David Batty and Julian Stallabrass.

Brighton Photo Biennial runs from 6 October – 4 November at various Brighton venues. For more information visit bpb.org.uk

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