Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1. Exposed @ Tate Modern : BBC Radio 4 with Andrew Marr

This programme was broadcasted on Monday 24'th May 2010.

Hosted by Andrew Marr, one of the guests was the exhibition curator Simon Baker.

The new exhibition is called Exposed and is about voyeurism, surveillance and the camera.

Wide range of images dealing with many subjects such as dictatorship.

Circumstances in which photographs were made can be important to understanding the nature of a particular photograph. (I can't help thinking of Doisneau's photograph of the "Kiss" in which models are known to have been used; no doubt they were in The Fox Terrier also!).

Was the photograph staged or taken without the knowledge of the persons involved!?

e.g. Walker Evans on subway in New York using a hidden camera to get pictures of people unguarded.
Phillip Lorca De Coursa photographing people on the street with a constructed hide.

Use of technology and ingenuity by photographers has always played an important part in photography.

If you can catch the unguarded moment then a truth may be revealed that might not otherwise be seen.

Use of lateral viewfinders ... take picture at 90 degrees to photographer ... people tend to be curious about them!!

Getting a picture of Paris without it's hair brushed !! Unveiling the world as one catches it unaware.

Image of Gordon Brown with his head in his hands when he heard about his private impolite remarks concerning a voter were public knowledge. Gordon Brown knew his photograph was being taken at this point !!?! Hence not so genuine as might be suspected.

People in public eye play game with those who photograph them; they know they are likely to be photographed.

Shocking pictures are not the ones of sex as this kind of image is accepted nowadays rather it is photographs of lynchings and killings that have the power to disturb.

Should one look at such images? Hang them in a public exhibition?!

What is art and what is documentary?!

Some of these photos are boastful momentos .. such as the recent Abu Graib images. It is not so much the content of these images that disturbs rather the manner in which they were taken.

We know live in a surveillance society where people are being photographed all the time .. not just surveillance cameras but also people continually recording the world around us as never before e.g mobile phone cameras

Are we then entering a new age of photography? Universal voyeurism and exhibitionism.

Technology moved forward very fast e.g. Google earth view from satellite and street.

Project that documented defence places in the landscape of Northern Ireland as they were being scaled back. Modern castles. First time they could be considered historically.

Difference between old fashioned voyeurism and the surveillance state that pry into people's private lives e.g bedrooms!? Voyeurism is about what you are not supposed to look at while the surveillance is something that is supposed to look for the safety of the state.

When is being photographed something benign and when is it intrusive?

More surveillance laws hre in the UK than what was East Germany; they have better privacy laws. English have not yet understood how important that freedom is.

Is surveillance a big issue in the US? Not really.

New forms of surveillance ... e.g. AOL releasing information to public from which people could be traced. Lot of personal information revealed.

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