Allan Sekula

Allan Sekula, Freeway to China (installation view), 1999

Allan Sekula, Freeway to China (installation view), 1999

For TRACE, Allan Sekula (b. 1951, Erie, Pennysylvania) came to Liverpool to work with the families of those who were effected by the restructuring of the dockside and the loss of work that was a result of this. 

When the Los Angeles dock workers recently came out on strike in support of their Australian colleagues they were already facing trial for their secondary boycott during the Liverpool dispute. As such it was a courageous statement of support for fellow dockers. The Australian Government had previously colluded with a major company to force the workers off the docks, replacing them with a commando force they had rapidly trained in Dubai. Although the conspiracy backfired on the company, the Australian Government emerged unscathed from the whole unsavoury business.

Sekula made a body of work at the time of the Australian struggle dealing with the Los Angeles docks.  Sekula’s photographic process included in TRACE demonstrated his conviction that art is work, and that artists have a responsibility to work on behalf of the community. His images were at once aesthetically rich and powerfully articulate documentaries that allowed the voices of the workers to be heard.

Allan Sekula at Liverpool Biennial 1999

Freeway to China
, 1999
Cibachrome, 12 photographs