Celestial Objects, 2013
Celestial Objects, by Sarah Pickering, has been made by photographing a revolver fired in total darkness. Each photographic exposure captures the entirety of a gunshot from start to finish. Contrary to the high-speed fraction of suspended action used in scientific imagery by Harold Edgerton known for his micro second photographs of nuclear explosions and bullets in mid flight, these images are a summation of the durational energy and action that the camera witnessed.
Sitting on the line between objective fact and imagined reality, the fragments of muzzle flash reference images of deep space, epic cinema and the skies of romantic painters such as John Martin. The slippage between cataloguing observation and subjective association is the territory that fascinates Pickering who proposes that instead of fixing a certainty, the representations we make of the world amplify our doubts about the experiences we have of reality.
Locus+, in partnership with the North East Photography Network (NEPN) and Durham Art Gallery are proud to present Aim & Fire, the first solo exhibition of photographs by Sarah Pickering in the North East. The exhibition includes work from the Explosion, Incident and Fire Scene series as well as Celestial Objects, a new commission by Locus+, in partnership with NEPN.
'"Aim", "shoot" and "fire"; the language of the gun is shared with that of photography and film. It's not surprising that the camera and gun evolved together. In the 1880s cameras with sequential frames for time and motion studies were made from modified guns with a rotating disc of light sensitive film recording in the place of the bullet that would have frozen motion.'