On 30th October sunday, I visited Brighton for the first time with friends on the course. We all travelled together by train and reached around 1:30pm. Reason to visit Brighton was the Brighton Photo Biennial 2016. We met Selina, our faculty, outside the station and started to walk towards the gallery. It was so beautiful out there! We were heading towards an event by Miniclick which had an exhibition called ‘ CONTROL ‘.


CONTROL was a new exhibition featuring work by Joachim Schmid, Rafal Milach, Sarah Pickering and Simon Menner. It was about exploring the ways in which imagery and photography can manipulate the viewer in order to gain and maintain control. (extract from the website https://miniclick.co.uk/2016/09/26/control/ )

As we walked through the doors, a guy welcomed us and showed us the space which was a basement of an office which they allowed for the exhibition.

The first space was dedicated for SIMON MENNER.

Fake arrest and Hand to hand combat.

Simon Menner’s work is an exploration of the STASI photographic archive. A series of Hand to Hand Combat training images depicting sanitized documentation of state sanctioned violence. The photographs are a highly controlled representation of physical actions which in reality. Equally fascinating is Menner’s selection, Fake Arrest, depicting a STASI handbook guide to apprehending a suspect. Both these bodies of work are exhibited at our venue, and Menner will be discussing these works and more on his extensive STASI archive exploration. (extract from the website https://miniclick.co.uk/2016/10/16/estherhoverssimonmenner/)

These images are a visual information of how to tackle the unorthodox and eccentric people. They depict a motif of actions to be taken in various situations, like the fake arrest and hand to hand combat. They seem to be absurd and amusing at the same time. They don’t seem to have a professional touch to it.

Find more about Simon

Moving on, the second space, it consisted the work by RAFAEL MILACH, the winner.

As per the Caption – “The Winners is dedicated to winners of various state and local competitions held between 2010-2013 and supported by the Belarusian authorities. The list of the winners also includes the best in contests promoting beauty or public space maintenance. Winners are present in kolkhozes, schools, public institutions, nightclubs, village discos and on Boards of Honour in almost each Belarusian town.”

1. Zhodino. Natalya and Konan, the best couple in love.
2. Volozhin. Arri, the multi-champion in dog beauty contests.
3. Elena, the best milkmaid of the Slutsk region.
4. Natalya, the winner of the contest for the best lookalike of Jennifer Lopez.
5. Asinovshina. Olga, the mother of the best large family in the region of Smorgon.
Images were installed on a plywood, half attached and the caption for each image was hidden beneath the image which we had to flip.We were asked us to guess what the prize or the award received by the subject in the image was, though, the viewer had the option to pull the image up and read the real caption. It was very fascinating to see the kind of awards given and how irrelevant they seem to the image.

Find more about Rafael

Third space included JOACHIM SCHMID and SARAH PICKERING’s work.

JOACHIM SCHMID – X Marks the Spot

As per the caption“A compilation of images of tourists posing for photos on a white x on the road in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, signifying the spot where JFK was assassinated when his motorcade was hit in 1963. The photographs are drawn from webcam footage in the window of the Texas School Book Depository from which it is alleged that JFK was fatally shot from. The camera’s perspective matches that of the assassin to depict tourists shooting their own memorial photographs.”


The images here are of tourist taking their own photos on the exact spot where John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s assassination happened. I feel, Joachim’s approach to make this series is very creative as he had positioned a webcam on the same spot from the were shot was fired. This is not something that every photographer does and this goes to show the passion and dedication of Joachim about his work.

Find more about Joachim

SARAH PICKERING – Public order

As per the caption“Sarah Pickering’s photographs explore a ‘town’ purpose built for the training of public safety officers. On first glance the images seem to depict an unsettling town, uniform and bland shop fronts and houses clothed in a blanket of grey – with nothing but a field beyond the threshold of a front door. The result is that we relook at our own surroundings and our own conception of realist. 

Riots and scenes of civil unrest are a daily occurrence in a small town called Denton. Despite the heavy police presence the violence is only ever temporarily suppressed. Another day brings more trouble – an incident at the underground station; barricaded streets; an injured civilian to bring to safety.

Denton is a set used by the police, designed to provide a realistic backdrop for a riot. The violent aggressor is defined here by the estate he could inhabit. Although absent from the photographs, his identity can be pieced together from the elements of social stereotyping in this purpose-built environment. The Public Order series of photographs documents the attention to detail and simultaneous lack of realism within this artificial environment. This is a living invention, a fantasy placed within the real world – an attempt to make violence and disorder tangible and knowable.”

These images surely depict the atmosphere of the city during riots and conflicts. Interesting thing about them is the way in which they are constructed and how real they look when seen flat. They reveal the fear and emptiness on the streets during the riots.

Find more about Sarah

The most interesting part of the event was there was a ” CONFESSION BOOTH “ available for PORTFOLIO REVIEW.

At the end of the day, we all went to the beach during sunset. It was one of the most beautiful and picturesque beach I’ve ever seen! I had never before in my life seen a pebble beach. We all started to make photos of the sunset and landscapes.

And it didn’t end there, we then went to the Brighton Pier…!!!

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