Wednesday, June 23, 2010

3. EXPOSED@Tate Modern - my first visit - 2'nd June 2010

I can't help thinking that the title of this exhibition is a little cryptic.

Exposed here, is not referring to that basic element of photography, the act of making an exposure, rather it refers to emotions generated when something private is exposed to the public. The exhibition has little to do with exposing light to a particular form of media rather it is the content of the image that is being exposed. This exhibition explores whether invasiveness is inherent to the medium of photography.

The main photograph used to advertise the exhibition is of Greta Garbo with an outstretched hand, apparently trying to stop someone photographing her. This is an older Greta Garbo who is wearing a face far removed from the glamorous image she is known for. Perhaps it is the hand of someone else.

The photograph of the Queen with her dogs is one image that stands out largely because it is of the Queen though one might not realise that initially. It is the liveried corgi attendant who gives the game away and makes what might have been an ordinary situation, an extraordinary one. Although apparently taken surrepticously, the photographer had been presumably granted some access to get this close.

Another photograph that interested me was by Andreas Magdanz largely because it bears some resemblance to my own "surveillance" photographs which are mostly of surveillance cameras in their environments.

One room of the exhibition is devoted to a 3/4 of an hour slideshow of several hundred images from Nan Goldin's "Ballad of Sexual Dependancy" which is also a photobook; the book is considered to be one of the best from the last quarter century. Watching it through left me feeling nauseous since many of the images portray unnatural scenes.

I wonder what takes me to see an exhibition that leaves me feeling slightly depressed rather than happy.

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