Opening Reception: March 18, 2020 | 6–8 pm
Baxter St at CCNY
126 Baxter Street · New York, NY 10013 · USA
Dara Mcgrath, an Irish photographer interested in the transitional lives of spaces (those places where a relationship is created between architecture, history, landscape, built environment; and a dialogue of absence rather than presence), took more than 8 years to bring to end this project. At the end of 2011 McGrath, through a newspaper article, discovered that 14 national sites have been identified potentially contaminated by residues of chemical and biological weapons: the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense launches the Cleansweep project to find out exactly what the extent of the material and contamination.
Meanwhile the photographer starts a real investigation in the development of which he has visited and photographed these sites countless times, over the years and in different seasons, collecting archival material and photographs, unclassified documents, stories of people who live in these places and veterans who had worked in these secret structures. An investigation that has brought the offending sites from the initial 14 to more than 80. The result is Project Cleansweep, which would be too simple to define as documentary.
McGrath’s book tells us about violence and its scattered geography, because a violent act does not take place only in the place of the injury. This is particularly true of the state of violence, in which a research, development and production infrastructure is the basis of every moment of violence.
It tells us about a historical memory of convenience and the falsification of reality, and how limiting external understanding has always been vital for carrying out certain activities. It speaks to us of a cleanliness that the photographs in this book resist. “They get caught and scratch the visual eye. They force the mind to stop, look, investigate. No easy answers are given, but an archive is compiled that increases in reverberation as it grows in length. The organization of the documents within the book is carefully modeled. The echoes begin to move between the images, through the sites.”
Project Cleansweep is a complete project whose balance shifts subtly towards photographic documentary; it is an investigation book. A book that becomes photographic given the nature of the author’s formation, evident in the relevant geometry of the images in whose structure, wanting to deepen our reflection, contamination breaks out like a fracture that corrupts the idealized “British Landscape”.
This book is not an answer, but the purpose of the journey, which lasted more than 8 years, in creating and collecting these images was to “resist the escape from reality, the denial of historical truth, however unpleasant or uncomfortable in some way it may seem. This should encourage all of us; it is an optimistic message that gives us hope for a better and more honest future. ”
I found Project Cleansweep, with its 216 pages published by Kehrer Verlag, a very interesting invitation (both from the point of view of content and print quality) to reflect on what permanent social and environmental impacts military (more generally human) interventions can have.
Project Cleansweep. Beyond the Post Military Landscape of the United Kingdom
by Dara McGrath
Texts by Rachel Andrews, Dara McGrath, Robert MacFarlane, Ulf Schmidt
Designed by Read That Image
Joseph Bellows Gallery
7661 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037
OPENING RECEPTION WITH NICK BRANDT: THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 6-8PM
“The photographs in “This Empty World” are a combination of two moments in time, captured on the exact same location. A partial set was built and lit on unprotected, populated community land in Kenya. In the following weeks, the animals of the region acclimated to the sets and eventually wandered in. Once the animals were captured on camera, the full sets were built. In all but a few of the photos, the camera remained fixed in place throughout. A second sequence was then photographed with complete set, and a cast of people drawn from local communities and beyond. The final, large-scale prints placed the subjects alongside each other, questioning the devastating consequences of unbridled development. The sets were created and removed with almost zero waste, leaving no impact on the landscape. ”
FOTOGRAFISKA NEW YORK
281 Park Avenue South at 22nd Street, 6th floor, New York, NY
Opening Reception with Masashi Mitsui: Wednesday, April 15, 6-8pm
“Traveling by motorbike to immerse himself in the local communities, Masashi Mitsui (born 1974, Kyoto City) has rode well over 70,000 miles visiting 39 countries, primarily in Asia. He rides from town to town without a fixed destination or a map to guide him. With minimum preparation, Mitsui allows himself to be guided by chance encounters with everyday people in remote locations that have not been documented by other professional photographers. ”
413 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019
Reception: Thursday, March 12, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
an exhibition of work by the BFA Photography and Video program’s students inspired by their working relationships with leading members of the New York arts community.
SVA Chelsea Gallery,
601 West 26th Street, 15th Floor, New York City
Opening Reception: March 14 | 5 – 7 PM
“Juror Catherine Edelman selected the following artists for the exhibition: Marilyn Canning, Javier Carmona, Nick Cipra, Bridget Conn, Gina Costa, Michael Darough, Anna Grevenitis, Chehalis Deane Hegner, John Hesketh, Adriane Little, John Manno, Suzanne Moxhay, Ludvig Perés, Michelle Rogers Pritzl, Travis Roozée, Alan Thomas, and Jamie Tuttle.”
1310-1/2B Chicago Ave.
Opening Reception & Book Signing: March 6 | 6 – 9 PM
“Jose D. Flores, Jr. Flores, Jr. took up photography in late 2015 as complementary therapy for a traumatic surgical procedure that almost took his life. He plunged head-in to the challenging genre of street shooting to overcome his introversion.”
The Rangefinder Gallery
at Tamarkin Camera
300 W. Superior St.
Opening Thursday, March 19 18h – 20h30
“”Chinas” exhibition tells, with a selection of nearly 40 images from his family archives, the love of the great photographer, who died in 2016, for the Chinese people. A long journey to the East, the campaign of the Hundred Flowers Mao to Hu capitalism.”
12, rue Saint-Gilles, Paris III
Opening event, Thursday March 5th, 6pm-10pm
“Pale Blue Dress is comprised of photographs from Brandon Tauszik’s long term project documenting the world of Civil War reenactments in California. The work gives an intimate look into these complex spaces, themselves emboldening participants to brandish the Southern cause while conveniently erasing slavery and emancipation from the war’s story.”
Book & Job Gallery, 838 Geary St, San Francisco