Buenos Aires: A detail

Brotherton Lock’s topsy turvy view of South America

You are not looking at a misprint – this shot is upside down. In a world that they claim is oversaturated with imagery, where we have seen just about everything, Brotherton Lock is thinking about new ways of looking. Some photographers manipulate the image artificially to force a re-reading, but this duo – Tim Brotherton and Katie Lock – is interested in far simpler approaches. ‘We just want to frame things in a different way. We’re interested in the Brechtian idea of “Verfremdungseffekt” – addressing viewers through manipulation, disrupting the image and generating a distancing quality,’ says German-born Lock.  Recently, while photographing homes in Argentina, the pair were present when the peso lost a quarter of its value overnight, but rather than photographing the chaos on the capital’s streets, they looked up to the bank edifices themselves; still holding cash reserves whose value was rapidly ebbing away. The buildings’ classical language, signifying permanence and security, suddenly seemed to count for little in this fragile global market. So they just turned the image upside-down. At first you might think ‘post-modern’ – Michael Graves or ‘Big Jim’ – but once the context is known, you end up thinking nothing more than ‘all that is solid melts into air’.