The Tate Modern this summer was host to the exhibition Voyeurism, surveillance and the camera a shocking and intimate exhibition involving themes of
sex, death and privacy. Running from May 28th Till October 3rd it involves elements of spying, desire, sex and violence.
The work ranges from the last 100 years showing the history and beginning of the voyeur and the invasion of privacy which of course now
with modern technology has never been easier.
The exhibition consisted of 13 rooms split into five themes/areas. They also hosted a display of cameras for spying and voyeuristic purposes such as a camera in a walking stick and they played two films.
The exhibition is highly focused on the voyeur, and the morals of privacy. A lot if not most of the images on display were taken with the subject being unaware.
A piece presented by Sophie Calle in the exhibition directed her camera away from people and instead invaded their privacy by photographing all belongings they had in their hotel room. She made this work when she worked as a maid in the hotel. She then presented her work in a way we could compare rooms compare beds, shoes making a series of consistent images.
Only a few pieces such as Helmut Newton fashion images were not taken in a sneaky way or hidden from the subject, His work was more straight forward and up front, with his stunning female fashion nudes. Still inviting the voyeur.
The exhibition to a extent shows how photography can be so invasive in life and death, showing us things we don't always want to see. The dead, the peeping tom to people buying sex. It was an unpleasant sneaky insight to this world. Not only this but the camera has shown to been peeping and watching people in this way very soon after image making happened.
Photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, Evans, Di Corcia and Harry Callahan featured in the display of spying and prying. The techniques to achieve such invasive images were interesting too, hidden cameras on a subway, shoots taken from a window and a great result was gained from Philip-Lorca diCorcia in his close up head portraits that appear very cinematic due to flash being set off in the dark as the subject moves through a urban space all set up and ready to capture some unique portraits.
The exhibition questions a lot of things about looking and being looked at, surveillance cameras and big brother, and the violent images there to shock yet worse can be seen on the internet as many of us have no doubtlessly seen. Not only this but the internet provides all the elements from the exhibition if we so wish to see it along with the media feeding our curious mind with celbs, sex and violence.