Exposed and Inspired

I’ve been meaning to go to the Tate Modern to see the new Exposed photography exhibition for a while now. Some of the pieces were quite shocking but I like that it pushed the boundaries and gave an insight into voyeurism.

I’m really keen to get into photography and I’m currently saving up for a Digital SLR camera. This exhibit totally hit the spot today and really got me thinking about the type of photographer I’d like to aspire to be.

I’ve always been an observer of people and my mum always told me off for staring at people out for the car window when I was a young girl. I’m also a self confessed stalker on Facebook – who isn’t? And deep down everyone is a nosy neighbour; some may even be peeping Toms. The Internet has proliferated our curiosity for other people, it’s only human nature to watch and compare.

I realised today that maybe I can turn my intrigue, observant, inquisitive nature into a skill that is expressed in photography. I tried to achieve this whilst I was traveling and really enjoyed taking close up portraits of people doing everyday things. I think I just need to find my inspiration in London…

The pieces that touched me the most and got me talking were:

– The Unseen Photographer – a guy hid a camera and took secret snaps of people on the subway in New York in the 1930’s (hiding cameras in cans, bags, spectacles etc). I love capturing people in natural poses in everyday situations. I think there is a bigger debate over privacy and who owns the photo…similar story to Facebook I guess!

– Voyeurism & Desire – one guy photographed men working out on the beaches of Rio from his hotel room. Nice images captured but could be considered slightly homoerotic. I also liked the voyeuristic photos taken of dogging in a Japanese park. And the guy who documented the workings of a brothel and drug den in New York by taking photos through the grill in his apartment. I think it was in this exhibition that an artist asked people to stand at their window at a specific time to be photographed, if they denied they simply didn’t show up or close their blinds. Nice.

– Surveillance – a complete exhibition based on authorities watching over us (or Google Maps) and how some artists have turned this on its head to watch the authorities. I also felt compelled to take a photo of being in a Surveillance exhibition, with a camera watching over us whilst I observed people observing the exhibition. Too bad my iPhone ran out of battery listening to Spotify! I also loved the web cam diary of Emily Jacir who visited a fountain in Linz, Austria at 6pm every day for a month and took a photo to document her presence. I especially liked the diary entry when the fountain got covered and the artist got mad…it made me lol…oh dear!

The message I took out of the exhibition is: ‘the act of taking photographs is Voyeuristic’ so maybe I feel the need to express myself in photography because I’m a closet voyeur….or at least I was until today!

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