img_5968Part 1, Project 4 Exercise

Look at some more images from this series on the artist’s website.

  • How do Pickering’s images make you feel?

There is always a feeling of unease when people are absent from a scene in which you would expect to find them. Personally I find myself looking for a meaning to explain the absence – something that will explain the missing presence. I run through scenarios: Is very early in the morning? Has something bad happened? Some of the images give you clues that all is not as simple as it first appears – you see the facade, the ‘fake’ nature of the town becomes clear. There is a sense of uncertainly or confusion about what you are seeing which is quite threatening. Sarah Pickerging says that there is a “sense of latent violence (that is) in the work” ( about 1 minute in). 

  • Is Public Order an effective use of documentary or is it misleading? Make some notes in your learning log.

Whether or not the work is misleading depends on the context in which it is presented. Pickering says ‘nobody’s questioning why these towns are kind of, designed in the way they’re designed’ (approx 2 mins in). She goes on to point out that these public order situations can happen anywhere now. These places no longer ‘represent the rioters’. (Rioters are being represented as belonging to a certain style of place). Being presented with the title Public Order, rather than a title like ‘Police Training Grounds’  allows viewers to ask these questions, but again, as with Paul Seawright, the meaning is not given up easily and encourages questions from the viewer.