Tag Archives: Taking Time

Brighton Photo Biennial 2012 – Trevor Paglen’s Geographies of Seeing show podcast with Lighthouse director Honor Harger

Lighthouse director Honor Harger. Photo © Wendy Pye

Social scientist, artist, writer and provocateur Trevor Paglen uses photography to explore the secret activities of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. For me, Geographies of Seeing was one of Brighton Photo Biennial’s to-see shows, not least for Paglen’s multi-dimensional approach to his subject matter. Who could resist taking time to look at the work of someone who is described as a ‘provocateur’, especially as I first saw some of this work at Frieze art fair a few years ago and was intrigued back then.

On the press tour of the show I got a chance to discuss the work with Lighthouse director Honor Harger who provides an informed and articulate insight into Paglen’s work in the audio podcast below. Click on the link below and then again on the link, it goes green as you rool over it, in the next page. It is 17mins 26secs long.

HonorHarger_discusses_TrevorPaglen_show

Trevor Paglen Geographies of Seeing Photo © Wendy Pye

“The Other Night Sky uses data from an international network of amateur satellite watchers to track and photograph classified spacecraft. Echoing the efforts of historic astronomers, Paglen documents astral movements that don’t officially exist.

Trevor Paglen Geographies of Seeing Photo © Wendy Pye

“In the series Limit Telephotography Paglen adapted the super-strength telescopes, normally used to shoot distant planets, to reveal top-secret U.S. governmental sites, sometimes 65 miles away from his camera; covert bases, so remote they cannot be seen by an unaided civilian eye from any point on Earth.

 Show photos above. Photo © Miranda Gavin

“Paglen coined the term “Experimental Geography” to describe practices coupling experimental cultural production and art-making with ideas from critical human geography about the production of space, materialism, and praxis. His work, such The Other Night Sky has received widespread attention for both his technical innovations and for his conceptual rigour. He is also author of three books including Torture Taxi (2006), the first book to comprehensively describe the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me (2007), which is a look at top-secret military programmes, and Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World, which is a broader look at secrecy in the United States.

Honor and I at the show. Photo © Wendy Pye

“Paglen (born in 1974) is an American artist, geographer, and author, currently based in New York. His work deliberately blurs lines between science, contemporary art, journalism, and technology to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world around us. He has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; the 2008 Taipei Biennial; the Istanbul Biennial 2009, and numerous other solo and group exhibitions.” From press release. Presented and curated in partnership with Lighthouse.

Filed under: Artist Talks, Photographers, Photography Festivals, Visual Artists Tagged: brighton, Brighton Photo Biennial 2012, experimental geography, Geographies of Seeing, Honor Harger, Lighthouse, photo show, space photography, Trevor Paglen

The integrity of Tim Hetherington

From the series Sleeping Soldiers. Tim Hetherington

Sometimes there are those rare individuals who, in one’s life, just seem to be always present. For me, Tim Hetherington was one of those people. Fresh out of university, I wanted to make an impression as a photographer and I started at the Big Issue in 1999. Just before working for them I met the fiercely passionate and committed Tim who had been their only staff
photographer. He had just left the magazine and I wanted to fill his shoes, as, at that time, the Big Issue was doing wonderfully interesting reportage stories. Tim had moved on, indeed he was always moving on at a terrific rate with absolute vision and conviction, forging forward with intellectual rigour and always thinking outside the frame. We met many times over the years and every time we spoke he conveyed his ideas to be a communicator reaching out to the masses, leaving the ego behind. What mattered in life was to inform about complex issues that led to suffering. carpet cleaning . The stereotype of the photojournalist was not Tim.

He embedded himself so much into the lives of those he documented. I remember once at Perpignan the West African characteristics he had picked up in his mannerisms and language from his long stay in Sierra Leone and Liberia. I was in awe of the incredibly smart and sensitive work he did with blind children in Sierra Leone, often the victims of the Revolutionary United Force, and the way in which he linked it to blind children in the UK to show difference and similarity and what it means to see and feel.

My last fond memory was bumping into him at Liberty’s store in London on Christmas Eve where we were both frantically trying to find last minute presents; he bought a lovely silk scarf for his sister. Of course we spoke about photography and the lyrical aspects of the medium but I was enthralled by hearing his recent experiences of Liberia and how he was taking time off documenting to work for the United Nations to gather the necessary evidence to convict the ex-president, Charles Taylor, of war crimes.

The huge amount of attention his death has received is for a simple reason and that is that Tim Hetherington was not a superficial photographer. He dug deep, in difficult places, against the odds.

He won the respect of many and I will miss him very much.

Michael Grieve

The integrity of Tim Hetherington

From the series Sleeping Soldiers. Tim Hetherington

Sometimes there are those rare individuals who, in one’s life, just seem to be always present. For me, Tim Hetherington was one of those people. Fresh out of university, I wanted to make an impression as a photographer and I started at the Big Issue in 1999. Just before working for them I met the fiercely passionate and committed Tim who had been their only staff
photographer. He had just left the magazine and I wanted to fill his shoes, as, at that time, the Big Issue was doing wonderfully interesting reportage stories. Tim had moved on, indeed he was always moving on at a terrific rate with absolute vision and conviction, forging forward with intellectual rigour and always thinking outside the frame. We met many times over the years and every time we spoke he conveyed his ideas to be a communicator reaching out to the masses, leaving the ego behind. What mattered in life was to inform about complex issues that led to suffering. The stereotype of the photojournalist was not Tim.

He embedded himself so much into the lives of those he documented. I remember once at Perpignan the West African characteristics he had picked up in his mannerisms and language from his long stay in Sierra Leone and Liberia. pepe . I was in awe of the incredibly smart and sensitive work he did with blind children in Sierra Leone, often the victims of the Revolutionary United Force, and the way in which he linked it to blind children in the UK to show difference and similarity and what it means to see and feel.

My last fond memory was bumping into him at Liberty’s store in London on Christmas Eve where we were both frantically trying to find last minute presents; he bought a lovely silk scarf for his sister. Of course we spoke about photography and the lyrical aspects of the medium but I was enthralled by hearing his recent experiences of Liberia and how he was taking time off documenting to work for the United Nations to gather the necessary evidence to convict the ex-president, Charles Taylor, of war crimes.

The huge amount of attention his death has received is for a simple reason and that is that Tim Hetherington was not a superficial photographer. He dug deep, in difficult places, against the odds.

He won the respect of many and I will miss him very much.

Michael Grieve