Sarah Pickering's series Explosion depicts a series of military and police test bombings in the countryside of rural England. What makes this typology interesting (at least from an aesthetic standpoint) is the marked difference in appearance of the various kinds of artillery explosions. Unlike other typological studies in which the differences are more subtle in nature, each of Pickering's images is immediately distinguishable from the others. These distinctions, however, manifest themselves in the subject matter rather than in her approach to the subject matter.
More overtly, the images from Explosion explore the psychology and industry of war. As Nicole Rudick wrote in Artforum:
"Detonated on the proving grounds of the British military and police, the bombs are used to prepare troops for actual combat, and Pickering's images cleverly investigate "representation" and "real," and aesthetics and death, in photography and warfare. These explosions are the illusionist's light show and the soldier's shield. More subtly, however, they point to the fusing of these qualities, to misdirection's thrilling flash."
From Top To Bottom:
Ground Burst No1, 2004
Fuel Air Explosion, 2005
Fire Burst, 2004
All Images © Sarah Pickering