I get the feeling sometimes that photography can be hypercritical and unconstructive in its criticism. When it gets the wind in its sails, it feels like you’re in the midst of a mass Five-Minute Hate. It’s like the scene in the remake of the Night of the Living Dead where Donald Sutherland points and screams – and then everybody else points and screams. It looks and feels terrible even when there are some justifications for it, especially when there are justificatons for it. This kind of response is something that also needs to be addressed in photography and its social media responses – because it is an embarassment and one day it will end in something very tragic. It is a form of bullying. Again, it’s nothing to do with photography, it’s to do with basic human behaviour.
The work that Gemma-Rose Turnbull and Pete Brook do is a constructive counterpart to this kind of response. Their work is considered, analytical and creates a counter-voice that is productive rather than reactionary and destructive, and leads us into new ways of seeing how images are made and the different fields in which they operate.
– Colin Pantall, Photography as Social Practice. In Bristol this Thursday