Public Order by Sarah Pickering

I think context really is a factor in my reading of this work.  Looking at the quick write-up in the coursework I was expecting something a little more dramatic but was underwhelmed.  I live in Istanbul, Turkey, and often am in the city on a Sunday morning before its residents wake up so shuttered windows, debris, garbage, false or crumbling facades, barred up shop windows, etc. are simply just a part of the landscape.  The only difference is there are street cats roaming and sleeping.  So I wasn’t disturbed by the images, in fact they look like a really tidy, clean neighborhood in comparison to what I see in Istanbul.  Atwood said it, context is all.

I think her work here is maybe a bit misleading unless when you see it in situ it has a blurb as to what it is. But yes, if one didn’t know the context it can be seen as an eery, unsettling work.  But once the context is revealed I think it is an effective work because then you start looking for more details and you see more layers.


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