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Thursday, 10 June 2010


The EXPOSED timeline

EXPOSED- Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera is the photography exhibition currently on show at London's Tate Modern. We all enjoy watching others once in a while but do we know who is watching us?

You certainly get your money's worth at this show - with 14 large rooms to wander round you will need a good hour. EXPOSED explores the idea of the 'unseen photographer' and the interesting qualities of snapshots taken often without the subject's permission. The result is intriguing and sometimes shocking.

Amongst the lesser known artists you can spot some celebrated photographers including Guy Bourdin, Lee Miller, Helmut Newton and Man Ray.

I was particularly excited by the earlier rooms which explore the tactics of some undercover photographers and displayed the objects within which the cameras were concealed: shoes, walking sticks, even inside suit jackets. Do they still make these detective like items? If so where can I get my own?

A Photograph display in the EXPOSED shop

A few rooms on, in a rather more crowded space, are hung photos of celebrities. I began to think of a time when cameras weren't so accessible and photos of our favourite celebrities not so common and widespread. Teenagers would attend a concert to not only hear the music but to catch a glimpse of their idolised singer. Imagine the excitement of seeing a band for the first time after only having listened to them. Nowadays we expect to see every move every celebrity makes through photographic images, almost all curiosity is lost.

The final rooms of EXPOSED were not so appealing to me, and by the time I got to them I was exhausted from the rest of the exhibition. Photos and documentation of violent events are displayed. These are surprisingly harrowing to see and bring home the reality of those suffering. It is not an exhibition for children, but for those interested in photography and the way it insidiously records us whether we like it or not, it is worth a visit.

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