Reportage

HOPE | A PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION by PATRICK BROWN in BANGKOK

In Photography News on September 28, 2015 at 2:45 AM

The American Photographer Lee Friedlander {b. 1934} once said he was mostly interested in photographing ‘people and things’, but it could be suggested that he expressed those interests in the depiction of places. A photograph can transport the viewer to the street corner of the town they live in, to the next city or the edge of the earth.

A photograph is created by a photographer standing in a particular place at a specific time. Amongst the many reasons for a photographer initially making the photograph one that is paramount is that the photographer wishes to ‘take the viewer there’.

11986555_10152963807447085_2005787143518504552_n

Patrick Brown’s polaroid landscapes of Australia’s ‘Never Never’ (As Indigenous Australians sometimes refer to the Outback) exhibition titled, HOPE and on show at The Jam Factory in Bangkok Sept. 17 – Oct. 17th succeeds eminently in ‘taking the viewer there’.

Brown’s dark and brooding polaroids not only ‘take the viewer there’ they also act as a kind of emotional trigger. On viewing the polaroids a yearning to travel to where Brown painstakingly made his photographs follows. The want to explore the places and understand the secret of their beauty beckons.

As with Brown’s polaroids, compelling photographs always ask more questions than they ever answer. Questions similar to, what is my relation to these vast ‘forever’ spaces? Where do I or not fit in?

What is unique about this exhibition is that Brown has answered some of the questions photographs like these often ask. He has been successful in reading the visual signifiers’ and messages thrown at him by the natural (and at times the manmade world) which is busy in an endless cycle of creation and destruction. He has given their indicators shape and context. He puts the viewer and by extension — man the protagonist — squarely ‘there’. It becomes evident that man is not just standing on the edge of these landscapes. Man is center stage. He has ideologically, historically, economically, agriculturally, spiritually interacted and finally appropriated these vast spaces. Harmony, discord, fruitfulness, barrenness, utopia and destruction amongst a myriad of others have followed. Man’s interaction is burnt into landscapes not unlike the burnt landscapes themselves documented here. Perhaps the most important question these photographs solicit from the viewer is; will man protect these spaces for future generations or exploit and destroy them as he has done since time immemorial?

Each photograph in HOPE responds to the viewer in the form of a contemplative experience and potently compels the viewer to – question everything. ~ JP

Advertisements
  1. Poetic review Mr Picone. Makes me want to jump on a plane to BKK check out the show and share a brew or 6 with you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: