WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY AND INCARCERATION HAVE IN COMMON WITH AN EMPTY VASE: A Symposium on Incarceration, Absence, Photography and Fiction.

WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY AND INCARCERATION HAVE IN COMMON WITH AN EMPTY VASE: A Symposium on Incarceration, Absence, Photography and Fiction will take place at At The Shell, Parkside, Birmingham City University 5th December 2018, 2pm – 6pm.

What Photography has in Common with an Empty Vase is a multifaceted body of work by Edgar Martinsdeveloped from a collaboration with GRAIN Projects and HMP Birmingham (the largest, category B prison in the Midlands).  The collaboration was based on engagement with the prison’s inmates and their families as well as a myriad of other local organisations and individuals.

Using the social context of incarceration as a starting point, artist Edgar Martins explores the philosophical concept of absence, and addresses a broader consideration of the status of the photograph when questions of visibility, ethics, aesthetics and documentation intersect.

By giving a voice to inmates and their families and addressing prison as a set of social relations  rather than a mere geographical entity, Martins’ work proposes to rethink and counter the sort of imagery normally associated with incarceration.

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