Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The Sound of Silence
As part of Brighton Photo Biennial 2006 Fabrica will show the European premiere of Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar's The Sound of Silence, an installation focusing on the life of South African photojournalist Kevin Carter.
There is a single photographic image in Alfredo Jaar's new installation and this one image is only visible on the screen for a matter of seconds. When you enter Jaar's installation, you enter a story: a story about an individual photograph and its impact but also a story about representation and its unequal effects. As the artist says: "It is a lamentation. It’s a poem that asks about ethics of what we (photojournalists) do when we shoot pain."
Access to The Sound of Silence is carefully controlled. Upon entering the installation space, you are confronted with an unsettling narrative that raises questions about the limits of representation, of what can and should be represented and of the responsibilities not only of the individual photographer but of those who control the circulation and dissemination of the photographic image.
Jaar's work raises questions about the relationship between photography and representation; in other words, between the medium and its political implications.In a context where reality television shows and web-casting purport to democratise the means of representation, Jaar's practice is a timely reminder of the growing gulf between actual representation and its fake imitations.