Written by Freya Rudd, work experience student, UCL Communications and Marketing
Can you have imagination where there is also control? Is freedom possible where there is security? These questions are explored in photographer Max Colson’s new exhibition, ‘Virtual Control: Security and the Urban Imagination’, currently on display at the Practice Space of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Colson’s first solo exhibition at RIBA, presented and sponsored by UCL Urban Laboratory, showcases how public spaces seem to be guiding people toward social freedom and comfort; however, they are owned by commercial entities, with everyone venturing into these areas constantly being observed by security cameras, surrounding them at all times, watching.
Colson graduated from UCL in 2007 with a BA in English Literature, and from London College of Communication in 2012 with an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. Since then, his work, mainly consisting of collaborations, has been exhibited at Brighton Photo Fringe, C/O Berlin and the UCL Slade Research Centre, just to name a few.
His involvement in the works Hide and Seek: The Hidden Nature of Plant Life in High Security Spaces and Neighbourhood Watch have been printed in Hotshoe and Darwin Photography magazines. In 2013, he won the title of UK winner in the Flash Forward Emerging Photographer competition. These achievements caught the attention of the Leverhulme Trust, who offered him a grant in 2014. So far, I’d say he’s doing pretty well.