Thursday, June 7

How we are now?

There's a major photography exhibition currently showing at Tate Britain (that's Tate Britain at Millbank, not Tate Modern)

How We Are: Photographing Britain
Curated by Val Williams and Susan Bright
22 May 2007 to 2 September 2007

Tate Britain is open daily, 10.00-17.50
Exhibitions 10.00-17.40 (last admission 17.00)
Ticket prices: Adult £7.50; Student, over 60, unwaged, child 12-18 and disabled £6.

"As well as famous names - William Henry Fox Talbot, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Bill Brandt, Madame Yevonde, Susan Lipper, David Bailey and Tom Hunter among them - the exhibition includes postcards, family albums, medical photographs, propaganda and social documents. It includes work by many women photographers and photographers from different cultural backgrounds who are usually underplayed in the history of British photography."

By coincidence (see post below), one of Roger Mayne's Southam Street photos features in the publicity for the show.

Interestingly, the show features four large screens that are displaying slideshows from this Flickr group:

which is open to all.


Anonymous said...

I visited The Tate on Thursday and here are my personal highlights and a couple of questions on the 'How we are' show:
In some early portraits of women classified as 'insane' the collection describtion explains that mis-diagnosis was common. This is demonstrated by one subject's direct look into the camera- pure defiance and completely haunting (bottom left of selection should you visit).
It was fascinating to see Bill Brant's personal album however, I was left wanting to pick the cabinet lock for more than the two pages on display. Perhaps the curators could have used the touch screen 'flick-through' facility on this as well as / rather than the less inspiring choice of 19th Century farming scenes.
On the whole, the pioneer section was by far the most capitvating and memorable. In contrast, the 1990's to present left me as cold as the victims of the 'road kill' slide show. Thankfully, someone had the sense to rig up a screen for visitors to hop through the undiscovered and ,in my opinion, true talent on 'flickr' that exists outside the painfully narrow boundaries that makes up the contemporary 'scene'.
Overall, a successful show which I would judge by the fact that the curators managed to open me up to new areas of interest. There was no pretension, in that they did not try and offer a complete history of British photography. There was some nice off-beat moments with a mix of legend and relative unknown.
I do have one itching question: Why were the Lewis Carroll prints (x3) the only ones in black frames?
Justin Sainsbury

Paul Russell said...

Thanks for the comments Justin. I can understand your frustration about the Bill Brandt cabinet!

I haven't been to the exhibition yet (not that this is going to stop me commenting) but I understand that the 1990 to present day stuff features prominently the "art doco" or what I would call "bored portraits" style. It leaves me cold too... Bored, boring and sterile.

It's a shame - I'm sure there's more interesting stuff from this period (including now), it just doesn't seem to be in fashion.