Trail: Global Flows and Shifting Scenescapes by Sunil Shah

This trail might best be navigated by beginning with Hannah Scott’s To the Ends of The Earth. Its shifting landscape of ocean and sky provide global and environmental metaphors as the destabilised terrains under which we might attempt to situate photographic and moving image practices, providing the waves and the ebb and flow of current under which the remaining works in the trail move. The central line separating and splitting horizons in Scott’s film, reminiscent of the split viewfinder of the SLR camera, also allude to a break in knowledge, in epistemologies that characterise and shape the contemporary world. If we imagine the two halves to be in binary opposition, the net effect is not one of focus or clarity but one of disorientation, instability and uncertainty.

The few works chosen in this trail from the huge number of excellent contributions that form this year’s semi-virtualised Brighton Photo Fringe are by no means a shortlist of the best works. They merely constitute, for me, a reflection on the complex nature of the world we live in right now, its uncertain future and its chaos. Within artistic praxis and photographic journeys, we are confronted directly with the problems and contradictions of the world as we try to understand them, observing the ways in which human subjects respond to their own social and political situations. In this light, I am warmed by the following attempts at finding meaning, learning and growing. It is a way of understanding our complex predicaments, accepting our disorientation, being guided by the stars.

Sunil Shah is an artist, curator and writer based in Oxford, UK. He is associate editor of American Suburb X and director of CODA Projects, a research platform on the aesthetics of race in art and visual culture. His interests span global art, postcolonialism, art histories and the sites and structures of artistic production and presentation.


Instagram: @sunilphoto