In this clip, photographer Sarah Pickering speaks about her Fire Scene series photographing the sets and manufactured fires used for training firemen and forensic detectives during her residence at the UK Fire Training College. Pickering talks about the work depicting "the suspended moment" of the blaze and Susan Bright points out that the work makes something uncontrollable appear still, and thus controllable. Pickering also touches on the flair of drama within these images of domestic scenes lit aflame and the fictions that can be projected onto the depicted scenarios in these "socially coded" units.
The full version of this talk is available on vimeo and on our multimedia section, divided in five different clips, along with two excerpts.
This conversation between photographer Sarah Pickering and independent writer, lecturer, and curator Susan Bright, took place March 31, 2010, on the occasion of the publication of Pickering's first monograph: Explosions, Fires and Public Order. This monograph brings together four of Sarah Pickering's photographic series which collectively present a visually arresting glimpse into the secret world of civil defense.
Sarah Pickering (born in Durham City, England, 1972) finished her MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in London in 2005. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Photographers' Gallery Graduate Award and a Jerwood Award. Pickering has exhibited internationally and in the UK where her work was part of How We Are: Photographing Britain, at Tate Britain co-curated by Susan Bright.
Susan Bright is well known internationally for her contributions to the photographic world as commentator, exhibition curator, and author. Previous posts include Assistant Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London; Curator at the Association of Photographers, London; and Acting Director for the MA photography course (Historic and Contemporary) at Sotheby's Institute, London. As an author, Bright is best known for Art Photography Now, published by Thames & Hudson and Aperture.
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