Site Search
Programs> Art> Grants>

Explosions, Fires and Public Order: Photographs by Sarah Pickering

Aperture Foundation, New York, NY


The book combines three of the artist’s series that offer a visually-arresting glimpse into the secret world of civil defense: Public Order (2002-2005), a project exploring the Metropolitan Police Public Order Training Centre, where officers rehearse responses to imagined scenarios of civic unrest in a simulated urban environment near London; Explosions (2004-2005) documents the tactical use of pyrotechnics by the British military, recording detonations on remote test sites in the English countryside; and Fire Scene (2006-2007), produced at the UK Fire Training College, where forensic teams and crime scene investigators are trained to determine the cause of crime-related fires. Together, Pickering’s projects reflect an aspect of the current zeitgeist: global terrorism matched with omnipresent anxiety.  Pickering, still considered an emerging artist, has noted that she is interested in recording the current mania of “preparing for disaster.” Lannan Foundation acquired three of Pickering’s photographs in 2007.

Aperture Foundation received a grant in support of its publication, Explosions, Fires and Public Order: Photographs by Sarah Pickering, released in fall 2009.