Sarah Pickering

Daniel Cooney Fine Art

Preparedness seems to be a watchword of the era of “global terrorism” and global warming. The expectation of calamity keeps us stockpiling food, water, and moist towelettes, even as the distance between preparing for an unknown catastrophe and actually experiencing it encompasses a vast speculative terrain. In her third series on disaster preparedness, British artist Sarah Pickering again investigates that divide, plotting her most incisive course yet into the weird realms of simulated reality in which first responders practice their trades.

Pickering’s earlier series “Public Order,” 2002–2005, and “Explosion,” 2004–2005, captured, respectively, the empty street sets (blank storefronts and housing facades) utilized for training by British riot police, and the pyrotechnic blasts used to prepare the police and the military for combat. In her latest project, “Fire Scene,” 2007, Pickering

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