Dana Ariel - Encountering Perforated Ground

Phoenix Brighton: OPEN16 Hub

1–30 October

Thurs 11:00–19:00
Wed–Sun 11:00–17:00

In partnership with Phoenix Brighton, Brighton Photo Fringe is proud to present its keynote exhibition, the OPEN16 SOLO, Encountering Perforated Ground by Dana Ariel, who was selected from an international open call using LensCulture’s online submissions platform. 

Dana Ariel presents here new works from her project Encountering Perforated Ground. In these stunning landscapes, that have been meticulously hand printed by Ariel, traces of past activities overlay and stain the ground, remaining invisible and concealed, as they tell a story of political erasure and displacement. 

Ariel says: “The selected images were taken in Israel and Palestine between 2014–16. During this time, I have been repeatedly visiting the village of Fasa’il and the settlement of Peza’el, both have the same name; one in Hebrew, the other in Arabic. They are found on the border between Israel and Jordan, on perforated ground. They are not directly represented in this selection, but rather bind the works together. The images are the journey to these sites, they are the stain and shadow of my search.

The ongoing conflict over land and narrative leaves its traces in the landscape, as it transforms to a crisis of seeing. Borders, fire zones, observation posts, military bases, barriers, fences, and settlements are being constantly transformed, blurred, erased, and displaced. ‘Knowing’ the land, requires constant observation. 

Upon my visits, I am repeatedly reminded that while I hold a camera in my hand, I am also constantly observed by both sides of the conflict. The sites represent a paradox of seeing, in which seeing immediately invites unseeing, both visually and politically. Edge-lands, perforated ground, disputed territory, and sites on the border are where militarisation and play intertwine. These sites could be seen as non-sites; abandoned, forgotten, buried or blurred. In the midst of the erasure process, I encounter the extraordinary, the unbelievable, and record its traces with the use of photography, print, and words. 

Encountering Perforated Ground emerged from a fascination with the German word verlernen – unlearning in English – which translates to a process of learning to forget ...it is both my method of making and a method of encountering the landscape. Photography and the printing process offer the opportunity to stretch the making process and allow a process of unlearning through notions of erasure and loss, while embodying a conflict of seeing.”

Dana Ariel is currently a practice-led PhD student at the Slade School of Fine Art with a research studentship awarded by the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. She received her MFA with distinction from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2013, and BFA with distinction from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel in 2009. Recent exhibitions include Broken Ground at neo:gallery 22, Bolton, UK, 2014 and group exhibitions: 2016 Transition, curated by Mark Adams, PS Mirabel, Manchester; Small Press Project Exhibition, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London; 2015 C a s t, curated by Naomi Lethbridge, PS Mirabel, Manchester; New Arrivals, 12 Star Gallery, Europe House, London.

Read an interview with Dana Ariel by BPF16 Trainee Curator Jamila Prowse here.

Presented in partnership with Phoenix Brighton. Sponsored by Metro Imaging and LensCulture, with funding from Arts Council England & Brighton & Hove City Council.


In Conversation
2 October, 11:30–12:30
North Gallery, Phoenix Brighton
Dana Ariel will be in conversation with the artist Sarah Pickering, a former OPEN winner herself. 

On Printing
30 October, 11:00–13:00
North Gallery,
Phoenix Brighton

Dana Ariel and Steve Macleod in conversation about current printing practice with examples of the multiple ways they both print work. Limited places available on the door only now. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

OPEN16 SOLO Selection Panel:
— Steve Macleod, Photographer and Director, Metro Imaging Ltd
— Christiane Monarchi, Editor, Photomonitor
— Sarah Pickering, Artist & Teaching Fellow in Photography at Slade School of Fine Art and BPF OPEN08 winner.
— Chaired by Claire Wearn, BPF16 Festival Manager.

Previous BPF OPEN winners include: Stuart Griffiths, Sarah Pickering, Jinkyun Ahn and Peter Watkins

(image: Peza’el, Dana Ariel, 2015)

28 Phoenix Brighton
10-14 Waterloo Place
Brighton, BN2 9NB

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