Tate Modern new blockbuster photography exhibition starts tomorrow. Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, is certain to have the right amount of shock, color, vintage, exotic, politic, artistic and crowd. I will be going, of course, to see the Brassaï, Weegee and some. The press coverage, illustrated by a black &white image from Jonathan Olley http://www.diemarnoblephotography.com/artists/jonathan-olley.html reminded me of that shoot of a street view behind Batersea Power Station I took in 1996. So off I was, scanning again. I will try to go down the spot one of these days. Looking at the image I remember that silence. It was on a sunday, all the surrounding streets were completely empty which made me feel that I was possibly trespassing, or for the least, I was wandering in some kind of unchartered territory; when I spotted the cameras, I did not feel reassure one bit, but started thinking that hordes of blood thirsty policemen and their dogs would probably arrive any minute and surround me with their automated weapons aimed at my Rolleiflex. I scampered off.
The color picture was taken during my postgraduate course at Central St Martins and won the approval of my peers to be used as our end of year exhibition promotion material. It is a take on David Hamilton Swingeing London from 1968, one of my all time favorite pop images.
The unseen is fascinating because we will never know. The notion of what has been and what will be, before and after what we see, is one of the most interesting notion of photography It is a bit like children incessant interrogations about "before I was born" and "were will I go when I'm dead" or "do giants really exist". There are the images in our mind and the images we are shown and we have to, somehow, correlate the two.
London has approximately 10 000 CCTV.