Edmund Clark’s work on Guantanamo, featured in issue 26, “Control”, of 8 Magazine (preview and available to buy here), opens as an exhibition on 1 October at Photofusion gallery in Brixton, London.
If the Lights Go Out is a study of a home, of a particular idea of home at a particular time in our history; a study of the lives of people whose paths crossed while in a camp on 45 square miles of Cuba, cut off from the rest of the world by razor wire and water. Rather than acting as reportage, these contemplative images look at three different ideas of home: the naval base at Guantanamo, which houses the American community; the complex of prison camps there; and the homes, new and old, where former detainees now attempt to rebuild their lives.
Interspersed with these images are ‘Letters to Omar’, a selection of cards and letters sent to UK resident, Omar Deghayes, during almost six years that he was held at Guantanamo. Some are from his family and his lawyer, but most are from strangers he had never met. Omar, who was released without charge in December 2007, never saw the original documents. At Guantanamo, even the backs of envelopes and blank sheets of paper were redacted, photocopied or scanned. Clark explains that “these visually extraordinary documents reveal the extent of control exercised by his interrogators and testify to the dilemma of a man, alone in a cell, thinking of home.”
Edmund Clark’s new book, published by Dewi Lewis, will be launched on 14 October 2010 at Flowers East. It comprises 70 colour photographs, 63 letters, an essay by Dr Julian Stallabrass of The Courtauld Institute of Art and texts by Omar Deghayes and Edmund Clark.
GUANTANAMO: IF THE LIGHT GOES OUT and LETTERS TO OMAR is on at Photofusion from 1 October – 26 November.
17a Electric Lane, London SW9 8LA