These photos were taken in Bangkok soon after the May 2010 crackdown on anti-government protesters by the Thai military which left over ninety people dead and the central shopping district of Ratchaprasong burned to the ground. However, the work is less concerned with the spectacle of political violence itself, but rather the individual experiences of those ordinary people left to live in a society deeply fractured by the power games of their nation’s political elite.

Nigel Bennet
born in 1972, lives in Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Starting out in the late ’90s at as photojournalist for wire-agencies in Europe and Asia, Nigel Bennet began to experiment with producing fake, or “intervened”, documentary work – employing techniques of mise-en-scene and dramatic lighting more commonly found in cinema to create intimate, narrative portraits in collaboration with his subjects. His photographic work now treads a fine line between meticulously directed “staged reality” and more organic, yet still somewhat “controlled”, reportage.

“Operating in the grey area between documentary and fiction, history and myth, honesty and artifice, my work is born out of a desire to better understand myself and others. It is not so much photography itself which inspires me, but rather projects are often sparked by readings in psychology, philosophy and cognitive science. The work is really just a by-product of these interests; it’s the only way I know to discuss such things. Above all it is this struggle – to make some sense of who we are and why – which inspires my practice.”

Nigel has exhibited from N.America to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, he also made several short films, two of which were screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Piotrkowska 17

slide show: 12.05, 9.30 p.m.