Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Brighton Photo Biennial

I went to the Brighton to get my National Insurance card, and decided to go to a couple of the exhibitions of the Brighton Photo Biennial. I started off in the bookshop “PS Brighton”, and got some information about the event and a map of where the exhibitions are. I decided to go to the University of Brighton, Jubilee Square, Lighthouse, and the station exhibition. All four of them were very different from one another. 

The first exhibition I visited was the one at the University. The work was by Jason Larkin and Corinne Silva. A lot of the photographs included landscapes, so it matched quite well with my project. The image above was the first photo of the show and was a good introduction: the human and environmental impact of urbanisation. The photo shows the urbanisation through the car park and the advertisement board, however there is an untouched landscape on the billboard.
The photos were printed on a very large format, so you could come right up to the photo and see all the detail. They were framed and looked very professionally presented. At the end of the exhibition there was also a 30 minute video showing an interview conducted by artist Omer Fast with a former Predator drone aerial vehicle operation. 

The rest of the exhibition looked great. It made use of the white wall style of exhibiting, so that there were no distractions. The photos were hung differently on each wall. The image to the left shows that the photos were printed on different sized paper and were hung in a scattered pattern.
The photos to the right show a more organised way of hanging the images. The photo right shows three images next to each other. They are all the same size, and are hung in a very simplistic manner. The bottom right photo, again has a very simplistic layout. I love the idea of how the images are presented, two squares of the same size, however the left has four images and the right has one image. I’d love to do something like that for my project. It looks quite creative and could give extra context to the large square image. 

This is the second exhibition I went to. It was completely different than the one at the university. Firstly, it was outside so the photos were protected in a weatherproof frame. The images are also all the same size and same height. Both the front of the columns and the back have images on it so in order to view the whole exhibition you have to walk around the whole area.
This exhibition is by Simon Dack, and he selected the most compelling images from over 40 years of political protests and put them into one exhibition. The photos were printed quite big, so you could see a lot of detail in the photos. I really like the idea of having the exhibition outside (surrounded by popular restaurants) because it will probably have a much larger audience looking at the images: The people who specifically go to the exhibition, but also people who are unaware of the project and go to have dinner at one of the surrounding restaurants.  

After that I went to the Lightbox exhibition called “Geographies of Seeing” by Trevor Paglen. Paglen is a social scientist, artist, writer, and provocateur. This work explores and documents hidden worlds. The second part of the exhibition, called “The Other Night Sky” uses data from an international network of amateur satellite watchers to track and photograph classified spacecraft.
I really liked the location of the exhibition. It was a proper white wall exhibition. There were white lights pointing at the walls to see the photos in the most optimal light. It was very simplistic. Each photo had accompanying text and other information. 

Finally, I went to the exhibition at Brighton train station. The first photo to the left explains what fotodocument is – it’s been partnered with Southern Railway to display the exhibitions in stations across the Southern network.
The exhibition that was on was called “Urban Farming in Havana” by Lulu Ash. The exhibition documents Cuba and how it has lost its supply of oil, machinery and petrochemical fertilisers due to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Therefore the agricultural system became unsustainable. Lulu Ash documents Organoponicos – community growing spaces covering 8% of land in the capital, which have transformed derelict urban spaces into thriving organic farms. “Lulu’s photo essay combines urban landscapes, intimate portraits of the farmers and the techniques they employ, as well as highlighting the benefits to health, environment and community life in Havana.” 

The exhibition went on for ages! There is a walkway from the main part of the station to another part, and all along the side there were images. They were hung very high, and the accompanying text was hung at an eye height. It was a shame that the images were so high, because you couldn’t look at one photo individually. However, the images were meant to be seen as a sequence – like a photo essay. As you walk along the photos you see more and more detail about the life in Havana and the farming.
There is a wide range of images, which makes the exhibition very interesting. 

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