The Brighton Photo Biennial is running until November 4th and gives us another year of innovative and conceptual photography. The theme is ‘Photography and the Politics of Space’, which has offered photographers the opportunity to explore the political constraints imposed upon spaces across the world and even our universe. Many of these artists have used the medium of photography as a political tool in itself. We speak to curator Celia Davies about her favourite images...
(1) Activists lie in the road blocking traffic during a peace demonstration, London Road, 1982. Brighton has a rich history as a contested space. BPB12 worked with The Argus, Brighton's local newspaper to tease out several photographs taken by their chief photographer Simon Dack to cover stories of protest in the city over the last 40 years. Collectively they tease out the recurrent concerns for residents and visitors to the city.
(2) Lacrosse/ Onyx II passing through Draco by Trevor Paglen. The Lacrosses Onyx constellation consists of four spacecraft charged with collecting overhead imagery using an onboard Synthetic Aperture Radar system. By producing images from the reflection of the radar waves emitted by the spacecraft, the Lacrosse Onyx System is able to penetrate cloud cover, and soil, and photograph at night. A motto associated with the spacecraft's ground controllers is " We Own the Night"
(3) A new audio visual installation by Thomson & Craighead. Using video footage uploaded onto social media, the work is a fixing point of sorts; tracing the development Occupy across space and time. Powerful in its presentation, the installation reminds the viewers about their own position in relation to this global movement and to reflect on its continued ripples.
(4) Omer Fast 5000 Feet is the Best (Drone image from above). The title of this work refers to the optimum height for the drone operator to activate the unmanned plane plane to fire at civilians and milita. This film moves between fact and fiction, documentary and action-film style, combining the drone operators own words, with enacted dramatisations, played out with an unforgettable ending.
Brighton Photo Biennial (Agents of Change): 6 October - 4 November, 2012