I have a great vantage point to work from today as I’m perched by the glass doors of The Tate Modern, on l
London’s South Bank. I have plugged in to the Tate’s electric supply, am wired into the net via my 3uk mobile dongle and have managed to be disciplined enough to do an afternoons work.
The main reason I am here though is because of the wonderful ‘Exposure‘ Exhibition going on at the moment. It’s a window, sometimes literally, on how we have become accustomed to the intrusion of cameras in our daily lives. From the camera being a witness at the point of someone’s of death to sexual voyeurism, surveillance to the obsession with fame and for fame by the famous.
In the words of The Tate ‘Beginning with the idea of the ‘unseen photographer’, Exposed presents 250 works by celebrated artists and photographers including Brassaï’s erotic Secret Paris of the 1930s images; Weegee’s iconic photograph of Marilyn Monroe; and Nick Ut’s reportage image of children escaping napalm attacks in the Vietnam War. Sex and celebrity is an important part of the exhibition, presenting photographs of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Paris Hilton on her way to prison and the assassination of JFK. Other renowned photographers represented in the show include Guy Bourdin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Lorca DiCorcia, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Lee Miller, Helmut Newton and Man Ray.’
Sometimes shocking images draw you around until at one point there is a surveillance camera showing how WE are being filmed. Right then and there.
My favourite part has to be the woman that hired a private detective to follow them around, shaping her day around the knowledge that someone was following her, being more attentive to her movements than even a lover would be. At the end of the day she was sent a précis of her movements witnessed from some strange perspective.