July 4th, 2012
September 15th, 2010
All Photos © Simon Roberts. Above: “Stars and Stripes, Desert Blast, Nevada, 1999″ Lambda print. Courtesy the artist and Klompching Gallery, New York.
Simon Roberts’s “Desert Blast” series offers an insider’s look into a secret gathering of pyrotechnic enthusiasts that took place in the Nevada desert. The event, known as Desert Blast, was “an exercise in radical protest involving high explosives, homemade bombs and c-grade fireworks,” says Roberts. His work comments on how individuals’ civil liberties have changed on a cultural and political level in post-9-11 America.
In 2008 the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago exhibited a group show of artists offering diverse perceptions of the United States. The exhibition explored the cultural climate of America, reflecting on the polarizing issues the nation was experiencing at that time: the complicated and messy War On Terror as well as battles over immigration, security, abortion and economics. Curator Karen Irvine described the artists work as demonstrating “that our nation’s character is not tribal, but rather it is a constantly shifting confluence of traditions, stereotypes and opinions, as understood from both within the country and from the outside.”
The exhibition included work from two series by Roberts, “Desert Blast” (1999) and “Winter Blast” (2002).
-courtesy Simon Roberts
September 25th, 2009
Polling station, Goodman Park, Slough, 6th May 2010, Slough constituency © Simon Roberts
Simon Roberts was the first photographer commissioned as the official election artist for the 2010 General Election in the United Kingdom.
“I wanted to move away from the media’s traditional approach of concentrating almost exclusively on the three main party leaders. I was more interested in exploring the experiences of the smaller political parties and independent candidates standing in marginal constituencies around the country. Moreover, I intended my photographs to be a captivating investigation of the British landscape, as well as the political campaign that was unfolding in it.” —Simon Roberts
The series of 25 images from The Election Project will be on view from September 15 at Parliament’s Portcullis House in London.
Keynes Country Park Beach, Gloucestershire, 2008, by Simon Roberts from his We English exhibit at Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn’s D.U.M.B.O. district. We English explores identity, attachment to home and the relationship between people and the land in England.
“In 2005, I spent a year traveling across Russia to produce Motherland, a book exploring the Russians’ attachment to their homeland. This attachment to place was somewhat mysterious–simultaneously profound and banal–and it led me to think about my own sense of belonging and memory, identity and place. We English became another journey, not quite as epic as that across Russia, but involving a 1993 Talbot Express Swift Capri motorhome, my pregnant wife, our two-year-old daughter and a 5×4 large-format camera.”
We English is on view until October 24 at Klompching Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 206, Brooklyn.