Control Order House

Control Order House is the latest project of the artist, photographer and archivist Edmund Clark.

Clark’s first project, Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out, explored the domestic architecture and environment of the Guantanamo Bay Military Base and tracked this “domesticity” back into the homes of British detainees, particularly following the case of  Omar Deghayes who was imprisoned in GTMO from 2002-2007 when he was released without charges. This photographic project explores three ideas of home: the idea that GTMO is home to an American community of military personnel and their families, that it is home to prisoners arrested as terrorists, and the homes where former detainees are now trying to rebuild their lives.

“Control Order House continues my exploration of the use and representation of control and incarceration in the ‘War on Terror’. Following on from ‘Guantanamo: If the Light Goes Out’ I use the prism of the ‘home’ to question representations of ‘them’ and ‘us’ and to evoke the impact on the individuals concerned. I see my work as visual histories which bring new perspectives to the wider social, political and legal aspects of these issues, and explores the material and evidentiary nature of images and documents”

In his latest project, Control Order House, Clark lived for several days in the home of someone in the UK living under a control order. Control Order House engages with ideas of control in photography by foregoing the normal process of editing and mediation to reproduce the images, unedited, in the order in which Clark took them, exploring the monotony and claustrophobia of a controlled person’s life. The inclusion of official documents and correspondence also illustrates the weight of state actors against the individual. Control Orders were introduced under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. Between 2005 and 2011, 52 men suspected of involvement in terrorism were under Control Orders and subject to various constraints. These included the power to relocate them to a house anywhere in the country,

Control Order House engages with ideas of control in photography by foregoing the normal process of editing and mediation to reproduce the images, unedited, in the order in which Clark took them, exploring the monotony and claustrophobia of a controlled person’s life. The inclusion of official documents and correspondence also illustrates the weight of state actors against the individual.

Control Orders were introduced under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. Between 2005 and 2011, 52 men suspected of involvement in terrorism were under Control Orders and subject to various constraints. These included the power to relocate them to a house anywhere in the country, to restrict communication electronically and in person, and to impose a curfew. ‘Controlled persons’ were not prosecuted for terrorist-related activity and the evidence against them remained secret. One man was subject to these controls for more than four years. Control Orders were replaced by Terrorist Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs) in 2012. Nine men are currently subject to a TPIM.


(Images reproduced thanks to Edmund Clark and Here Press).

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