Tate Modern takes sneak peek through camera lens

Tue Jun 1, 2010 12:32pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A new exhibition at Tate Modern in London takes a sneak peek through the camera lens at everything from young couples embracing in a park to execution, to ordinary passers-by walking down New York streets.

"Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera," which runs until October 3, is an at times unsettling examination of the power of the hidden lens to capture and intrude, as well as of our seemingly endless desire to pry into other people's lives.

The exhibition, which has won positive reviews in the British press, looks at the culture of celebrity as well as the prevalence of security cameras following our every move on the streets and inside buildings.

"In the age of Facebook, YouTube and reality TV, many people don't seem to care how much of themselves they expose," wrote Adrian Searle in the Guardian newspaper. "And in the end, maybe we all like looking."

The show opens with two photographers taking images of ordinary U.S. citizens using hidden cameras -- Walker Evans in the 1930s and Philip-Lorca diCorcia in 2000.

The latter was legally challenged by one of his unwitting subjects in 2006, resulting in a landmark ruling that the artist's right to self-expression took precedence over the subject's right to their own image.

The case underlined the tension running throughout the show between the subject's desire for privacy or to be photographed and the photographer's right to take the images on display.

Ron Galella's aggressive efforts to photograph Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, for example, ceased only when a court intervened on her behalf.   Continued...

<p>Georges Dudognon's photograph of Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain taken in the 1950s. REUTERS/San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Members of Foto Forum/Estate of Georges Dudognon</p>