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Different Dimension. The 2nd Novosibirsk International Festival of Contemporary Photography.

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Campbell, David, Durden, Mark and Brown, Ian (2009) Different Dimension. The 2nd Novosibirsk International Festival of Contemporary Photography. Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia. [Exhibition]

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Abstract

Different Dimension. The 2nd Novosibirsk International Festival of Contemporary Photography. 56 Artists from 11 countries, with over 400 works exhibited. Curator Andrey Martynov.Common Culture's Bouncers - large format photographs.For us, minimalism’s concern with the management of formal/social boundaries, had an immediate correspondence in the function of the nightclub bouncer. Our use of hired ‘security’ staff, tasked to ‘manage the door’, was a deliberate strategy to address this issue and explore the articulation of power in the control of social space. Bouncers police the interface between the public and privatised spheres of leisure. They are ‘hired muscle’, simultaneously serving the interests of capital whilst representing a form of brutalized, commodified labour. The similarity of the bouncers’ physical appearance and their ability to engender acute self-consciousness in the viewing public through forms of visual control, presented us with another opportunity to re-engage with minimalism. This collision of looking, orchestrated between the visitors to the gallery and the bouncer’s professional stare is central to the piece. This active engagement with the gallery visitor’s look, unflinching in some of the men, but more ambiguous and complex in others, prevents their categorization as merely statuesque. Surprisingly, the ‘hard-man’ front presented by the Bouncers was clearly fractured with anxiety, vulnerability and even something that looked like sadness, mixing uncomfortably with their macho bravado.Putting this power under duress, re-contextualising it in a form and location that stripped away any normative justification for its display, sanctioned new relations of engagement. The raw experience of looking back at the bouncers,foregrounded the instability in the bouncers’ status, fluctuating between ‘bought power’ and alienated labour. The experience of this encounter was embarrassing, unsettling and at times, cruel.

Item Type:Exhibition
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > Belfast School of Art
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute
Art and Design Research Institute > Art and Conflict
Location:Novosibirsk State Art Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia
Date:2009
ID Code:2059
Deposited By:Mr David Campbell
Deposited On:03 Dec 2009 14:52
Last Modified:26 Jul 2011 16:40

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