— August 9, 2011 —
In Pictures is a still and moving image gallery for significant works, events and places
Mare Street, 4pm, August 2011 By Leon Mark & Ruben Moreira Captured by Hackney-based photographer Leon Mark and stylist Ruben Moreira from the window of their Mare Street apartment, this series of grainy stills reveals a warped beauty to the devastating violence to the riots throughout London yesterday. Mark's work is often characterised by a sense of melancholic innocence and voyeurism – however only the voyeurism remains when one considers the violent subject matter of a shop looting in east London.
As a helicopter circled in the moody skies above Hackney, Mark's lens turned to the street below and to the lines of London police dressed in riot gear facing gangs of hooded youths on bicycles and on foot. A particularly unsettling frame shows several men attempting to break into a pawn shop, ripping the metal security shutters from their rails. The stark contrast of the orderly policemen and the chaotic sprawl of rioters (dressed in the uniform of the street) is an image that will remain in our social consciousness for years to come. A momentous uprising and a dark moment for 2011.
Mark told AnOther, "We watched constant looting of the shop in the photos for about twenty minutes, with some people throwing bottles towards the direction of the police, and also trying to mug some of the people who stood around watching or trying to get past. The police moved slowly down the street in a line moving the crowd back. A mass chaos with no meaning, nor limits."
Text by Dan Thawley