Staging Disorder 29.01.15

  • Public Order by Sarah Pickering: River Way (Roadblock), 2004

  • Public Order by Sarah Pickering: High Street, 2002

  • Public Order by Sarah Pickering: Semi–Detatched, 2004

  • Public Order by Sarah Pickering: Magdalen Green, 2004

  • Public Order by Sarah Pickering: Denton Underground Station, 2003

  • Public Order by Sarah Pickering: Behind Flicks Nightclub, 2004

  • Red Land Blue Land by Claudio Hils (2000)

  • Red Land Blue Land by Claudio Hils (2000)

  • Red Land Blue Land by Claudio Hils (2000)

  • Red Land Blue Land by Claudio Hils (2000)

  • Red Land Blue Land by Claudio Hils (2000)

  • Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin: Chicago #3, 2006

  • Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin: Chicago #5, 2006

  • Chicago by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

  • Chicago by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

  • Chicago by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

  • Chicago by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

  • Chicago by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

  • Chicago by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

An exhibition of photography depicts the eerie, artificial towns used to train the police and military for conflict

Photographs of the fake buildings, streets and interiors created to train police and miltary forces to deal with conflict situations are on display in an exhibition that began this week.

Staging Disorder at the London College of Communication includes images from seven series of photographs that examine a unique type of architecture where form is predicated on fear rather than function.

Among these are photographs by Sarah Pickering of the locations used to train officers in the British police who deal with terrorism, riots and protests. The largest of these, where she shot most of her images, is Denton, a series of large-scale backdrops and fake streets that simulate a stark, mid-sized city – complete with a football stadium, a nightclub and a Tube station. The apparent order and cleanliness of the set is in sharp contrast to the inherent chaos of the scenarios for which the officers are training.

Claudio Hils' Red Land Blue Land was shot at training grounds for German troops in Senne, North Rhine-Westphalia. During manoeuvres, the term "Red Land" means enemy territory and "Blue Land" denotes friendly areas. Traces of military activity, such as targets in the shape of people, emphasise the emptiness and lifelessness of the terrain.

Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg photographed Chicago, a fake Arab town in the Negev desert built by the Israeli Defense Force for urban combat training. Its history has mirrored the story of the conflict with Palestine: During the war in Lebanon, its streets were filled with abandoned cars, imitating areas of Beirut; during the first and second intifada, its concrete walls were covered with Arabic graffiti reminiscent of Gaza city and an area was built to simulate the refugee camps of the occupied territories; during the first Gulf war, American special forces had their first taste of the Middle East in the artificial town.

Some of the images on display are featured above.

Staging Disorder runs until 12 March and the LCC in Elephant and Castle, London

In Icon 090 we featured the Center for Land Use Interpretation's images of southern California’s emergency service training sites

 

Words

Debika Ray

quotes story

The apparent order and cleanliness of the set is in sharp contrast to the inherent chaos of the scenarios for which the officers are training

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