Five Posts: IV Reflection – The Photographers Gallery

The Photographers Gallery

I visited The Photographers Gallery at the beginning of this month. It is located just off Oxford Circus which is why I thought it would be packed however it is nicely hidden from the ordinary tourists view; a quiet gem in the centre of chaotic London.
To get the full experience I bought a pass letting me in to all the exhibitions and I’m glad that I did.
Floor 2 to floor 4 were quite disappointing. It consisted of pictures of “Men and Women” by Tom Wood made between the year 1973 and early 2000s. It was a celebration of the city of Liverpool showing the city as well as portraits of family and friends and some strangers which I didn’t find very intriguing.
Floor 3 included a piece by Raghubi Singh. It was put up in a small room where people could leave their interpretations of the piece. I like the idea of giving feedback this way because it looks at peoples psychology and how different people can view things in a different light depending on their life experiences. It touches on the idea of polysemic reading as a theory for making media products relatable to a range of people in variety of ways. Here is a picture of the caption under the artwork:
Floor 4 and 5 required a pass to go through (the pass was simply a red circle stuck to my coat which I currently hold in my wallet). These floors held an exhibition called the Shooting Gallery which I found fascinating.
Shooting Gallery
The exposition showed a range of pictures from (mainly)German carnivals made in a very special way. A sensor was built behind the target and as the participant shoots it it takes a picture. The person literally shoots a picture of him/her self. Erik Kessel made an exhibition about a woman who really liked this idea and decided to “shoot herself” every year at a local carnival. This inspired Erik Kessel to make an exhibition featuring her in every picture and he added it his collection of “in almost every picture no.7” the picture on the left is a sample picture from his website :In almost every picture 7
The pictures were taken between the years of 1936 and 2009 and it is still going on. The pictures showed many changes that happened to both the subject and the carnival. From simple changes in clothing styles to more personal things happening to the old lady. I noted some changes that I noticed; Ria van Dijk is the subject and as she gets older I noticed her getting new glasses in 1954, 1964 and 1977, new watch in 1993 and a cane around 2006. I think this is fascinating because we can learn a little bit about the person without knowing that person at all.
Floor 5 continued with the same theme however it was made more experimental and more obviously artistic. Some of the artists were Jean-Francois Lecourt, Steven Pippin and Rudolf Steiner. They all experience with shooting the camera itself to create a picture by letting the light in through the hole in the lens. It created a variety of effects from simply having a bullet hole through the photo to photographs which have no detail or specific shapes but play with the idea of light and dark and colours.
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