Uncommon Ground is an exploration of environmental interventions in contemporary photography. Inspired by the work of Keith Arnatt and Gabriel Orozco, this exhibition aims to obscure the intersection between photographs of observed reality and artistically altered reality. Here, environment is taken in its broadest sense: natural ecosystems, urban and suburban space, domestic interiors, industrial landscapes and even political arenas.
Documentarians create visual evidence of human interference with a growing propensity for scale and complexity; they describe complicated phenomena by embedding concepts within their subject matter. Other practitioners perform figurative or sculptural interventions by physically inserting themselves and their subjects into an environment. They engage, manipulate, transform, or become transformed by their surroundings and thereby communicate through evidence of their own disruptions. Both approaches have strong historical lineages – the latter partly influenced by a boom in conceptual land art of the 1960’s. Convergence of these strands is becoming intricately intertwined creating new possibilities for photography. Uncommon Ground encourages wanderings across modes of practice, re-considering subjects of photographic documentary as inherently artistic, and the anthropological potential of seemingly irrational artistic interference.
Uncommon Ground, 12th July until 1 September, Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DP. www.flowersgallery.com
1. © Chris Engman Equivalence (2009). Courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
2. © Simon Roberts Protesters occupy Leeds City Council’s annual budget meeting 23 February 2011. Courtesy Flowers Gallery, London
3. © Andrea Galvani Higgs Ocean 12. With special thanks to Meulensteen
4. © David Spero Studio 3 Hallituskatu (2007) Courtesy Flowers Gallery, London