As part of the Preston Tringe festival, a photojournalist is bringing photography into the theatre in a unique cross-platform live-art event.
Garry Cook has developed a ground-breaking show featuring photography alongside video, music, spoken word and live performance, which will debut at Preston Tringe.
Photographing Fags, Freaks and Fighting discusses themes of war, addiction, censorship and human behaviour.
At times humorous and shocking, the performance aims to provoke thought about human compassion and our place in the world around us.
The artist performed a segment of Photographing Fags, Freaks and Fighting at the Liverpool International Photography Festival in May, and plans to develop the show into a full-scale production.
Cook, from Preston, said: “I believe in the power of the image – to inspire, stimulate and change perceptions – and want to bring that power to a live audience and make the process of looking at photography a group experience.
“I wanted to do something theatrical with images and it took a long time to develop the idea into something achievable and engaging.
“The reaction from my first live-art performances was way beyond what I hoped and I’ve received huge encouragement, particularly form directors and producers who work in theatre.
“There are some graphic images in the show but they are not shown gratuitously, they highlight how disconnected we are from the reality of the world around us.
“In the past, the images we would see of war would be curated by newspaper and television editors who would filter out horrific images. If you know where to look, these images can now be found easily through social media but there is still a huge disconnection between what we perceive about war and the reality.
“This project challenges these perceptions through the themes human behaviour, celebrity culture and consumerism. Despite the serious issues, the show is very funny and captivating. I’m hugely motivated by the desire to entertain and produce something memorable.
“I’ve seen images some people would describe as difficult to look at, particularly from Syria and the Kurdistan region, but I think looking at these images raises levels of compassion – which is something we can never have enough of.
Cook added: “I’m particularly keen for photographers to come to the show and see what can be done with photography and how it can be exhibited in different ways.
“It’s brave of Preston Tringe to agree to put on the show. I’ve had more venues refuse to exhibit my work due to the content than I have actually exhibited.”
The performance of Photographing Fags, Freaks and Fighting is free and is at Korova Arts and Café Bar from 4pm on Sunday, August 2, 2015.
To discover more about Garry Cook you can access his website here or follow him on Twitter here.
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