This past March photographer Sarah Pickering and independent writer, lecturer and curator Susan Bright spoke at Aperture about Pickering’s first book Explosions, Fires and Public Order. The book gathers together four photographic series by the artist: Public Order which explores the Metropolitan Police Public Order Training Centre, a simulated urban environment where officers rehearse responses to scenarios of civic unrest; Explosion which document the use of controlled explosions by the British military in training exercises; Fire Scene and Incident which were produced while Pickering was an artist in residence at the UK Fire Training College.
In the edited excerpt below Pickering talks about the two series Public Order and Explosion. On Public Order Pickering states that the “sense of latent violence” in empty sets was a more “evocative” and powerful image to her than trying to capture action shots of the police training. Pickering also touches on autobiographical aspects in her work and identifies demonstrations against the war in Iraq as an inspiration for the images in Explosion.
View a second short excerpt focusing on Pickering’s Fire Scene and Incident series:
View the talk in full here: