Review of Interface Images by Bill Kirk
Interface Images published by Belfast Exposed Community Photography Group faces squarely, yet often with ironic humour, the harrowing sectarian problems at the heart of Belfast City.
Of the three volumes, the other two volumes are ‘Belfast’ by Christopher Hill and Jill Jennings and ‘Parallel Realities of Northern Ireland’, it alone stands free of pretension and elitism and reveals the coming to visual maturity of a fine young photographer in Frankie Quinn.
It is admirable in that it is truly home grown, for Quinn lives there and therefore cannot be accused of exploitation.
His easy use of the wide angle is at once startling and surreal and evokes William Klein at times and at others Robert Frank, and maybe a little dash of Brandt!
But somehow when looking at these photos I become convinced of the veracity of the work and of the unlikeliness that Frankie was thinking of any other photographer at the time.
My favourite is about two thirds of the way through and shows a boy standing centre frame at nightfall at the peaceline, over which blazes (probably) a Loyalist bonfire. On a gable is the Biblical quotation from the Sermon on the Mount; ‘blessed are those who hunger for justice’. Three images back is an amazing photograph of the canvas screen used during marches to prevent the other side from taking offence.
Surprisingly for such a fresh work, history has already overtaken it in some ways. In Ronan Bennett’s introduction he states that the sectarian killings continue unabated.
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