Thursday, December 07, 2006

Face to Face with the Fear • Paul Shambroom

Paul Shambroom's Security Series, featured here some time ago, examines issues of fear, safety and liberty in post-9/11 America. Security Series shows first responders and law enforcement officers training in large-scale simulated environments such as “Disaster City” in Texas and “Terror Town”, an abandoned mining community in New Mexico purchased with funds from the Department of Homeland Security.
This approach, while very different executed, is somehow similiar to the recently mentioned workgroups by An-My Le, Small Wars and 29 Palms.
Joerg Colberg, the restless soul behind Conscientious, just published A Conversation With Paul Shambroom that gives some insight why and how Paul explores Nuclear Weapons, Meetings and Security.


It's difficult to understand history when you're in the middle of it, there is no perspective. I settled on the idea of photographing in training environments because they are ripe with visual material of the source of our fears and potential salvation. The training simulations of both threat and response resonate with broader questions in the post-9/11 world: What is real? What is the nature of our fear?

Then as now, the intentions and integrity of the photographer should count for more than anything else in whether we believe what we see in a picture. I feel no need to follow the conventions of the "documentary police", and in fact I would be fired if I tried to present my work in a photojournalistic context. That said, I have my own standard for what is true: Would the people in the photograph look at it and agree "Yes, this is what this experience, this moment, this place was like?"

continue the conversation here

1 comment:

coelder said...

really enjoy shambroom's work. i went to the opening at the Atlanta Contemporary and got the audio. check it out and surf on around!

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