Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870

Overview

Since the rise of the photographic medium in the late 19th century, people have been fascinated by the camera’s ability to record striking moments both public and private. From Mathew Brady’s haunting images of the Civil War to the present day paparazzi’s brand of voyeurism-for-hire, photography has long served to capture not only the posed portrait but also the personal, the intimate, the unexpected, and the taboo. This fascinating book examines the ways in which acts of voyeurism and surveillance have inspired,...

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Overview

Since the rise of the photographic medium in the late 19th century, people have been fascinated by the camera’s ability to record striking moments both public and private. From Mathew Brady’s haunting images of the Civil War to the present day paparazzi’s brand of voyeurism-for-hire, photography has long served to capture not only the posed portrait but also the personal, the intimate, the unexpected, and the taboo. This fascinating book examines the ways in which acts of voyeurism and surveillance have inspired, challenged, and expanded the medium of photography throughout its evolution.

Featuring photography by Sophie Calle, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Harun Farocki, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol, and Weegee, among others, Exposed chronicles the artistic, political, and even moral dilemmas that underlie some of these artists’ best known works. Through insightful essays and commentary by Sandra Phillips, one of the foremost authorities on the history of 20th-century photography, Exposed examines some of the most invasive and unsettling aspects of photography, including the use of the hidden camera, the production of erotic pictures and pornography, and the intersection of photography with both celebrity and violence.

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Editorial Reviews

Photographer's Forum

"A profound collection of images we have all seen but prefer not to discuss. . . . The images presented here are not for the faint of heart. This is a fascinating and disturbing volume. . . . The book provides a captivating jumping-off point for intellectual debate."—Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler, Photographer''s Forum

— Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler

Photographer's Forum - Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler

"A profound collection of images we have all seen but prefer not to discuss. . . . The images presented here are not for the faint of heart. This is a fascinating and disturbing volume. . . . The book provides a captivating jumping-off point for intellectual debate."—Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler, Photographer's Forum
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300163438
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Sandra S. Phillips is senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Society of Voyeurs: To This We've Come

    EXPOSED: VOYEURISM, SURVEILLANCE, AND THE CAMERA SINCE 1870 is the official catalogue for a massive photography exhibition created with the collaboration of the Tate Modern where it is now on exhibit in London and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where it opens in October of this year, moving on to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in the spring of 2011. It is an ingenious concept for an exhibition curated by Sandra S. Phillips of SFMOMA who also contributes the fine essay LOOKING OUT, LOOKING IN: VOYEURISM AND ITS AFFINITIES FROM THE BEGINNING OF PHOTOGRAPHY that opens this well-designed sophisticated catalogue/art book.

    Phillips begins her examination of the subject 'We cannot blame the camera for what it has done to us; nevertheless, it has made certain human predilections much easier to satisfy.' She then provides a strong history of the human desire to see things forbidden, whether by hiding in the dark to see people, events, and passions meant to remain secret, or by using the instrument that made these urges possible - the development of the camera and its early uses in the Civil War to the present. 'The exhibition examines five areas of voyeuristic photography: street photography; the sexually explicit (or implicit) pictures we normally associate with voyeurism; celebrity stalking; photographs of death and violence; and surveillance in its many forms.

    What follows then are images from a wide variety of photographers (many well known) of poverty and child labor and street living of the homeless, old and new images of a sexual nature that include deviant behavior, private personal moments (Nan Goldin's famous 'The Ballad of Sexual Dependency' is excerpted), images burned in our minds of the shooting of JFK and Bobby Kennedy, the famous Marilyn Monroe icon by WeeGee, the Queen of England out with her Corgies, images of horror in lynchings, beatings, murders, firing squads, electrocutions, the famous Eddie Adams photo of 'Viet Cong Officer Executed 1968', war pictures, spy films from throughout the century, images of secret surveillance cameras and not so secret monitors that watch our every move in malls, and pictures of people such as the two terrifyingly disturbing Algerian women by Marc Granger. Pages and pages of a vast number of photographic images that once viewed cannot be forgotten fill this excellent volume.

    The end of the book adds essays by Simon Baker ("Photography and the Surreptitious Image'), Philip Brookman ('Street Photography and the Theater of Life'), Carol Squiers ('Original Sin: The Birth of the Paparazzo'), Richard B. Woodward ('Dare to be Famous: Self-Exploitation'), and Marta Gili ('From Observation to Surveillance'). There is much to learn frrm this collection of images and essays - more information about our current obsession with the internet and cellphone cameras etc than we even imagine. It is a brilliant exhibition and an equally brilliant book.

    Grady Harp

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