Posts Tagged ‘unseen photographer


Exhibition: ‘Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera’ at Tate Modern, London

Exhibition dates: 28th May – 3rd October 2010


Many thankx to Rose Dahlsen and the Tate Modern for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.



Harry Callahan.
 'Untitled (Atlanta)' 1984


Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Untitled (Atlanta)
Dye transfer print 
9 7/16 x 14 5/16 in. (23.97 x 36.35cm)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York


Jonathan Olley. 'Golf Five Zero watchtower (known to the British Army as 'Borucki Sanger'), Crossmaglen Security Force Base, South Armagh' 1999


Jonathan Olley (British, b. 1967)
Golf Five Zero watchtower (known to the British Army as ‘Borucki Sanger’), Crossmaglen Security Force Base, South Armagh
Gelatin silver bromide print
Coutesy Diemar/Noble Photography, London
© J.Olley


Benjamin Lowy (American, b. 1979) 'Iraq Perspective II' 2003-2007


Benjamin Lowy (American, b. 1979)
Iraq Perspective II



US soldiers go on a late night raid with Iraqi Sunni Concerned citizens leading the way and identifying potential AQi targets. Due to a high level of IEDs in the area the company size raiding party walked 5 kilometres to the target in complete darkness, raided the target houses, detained questionable suspects and walked 5 kilometres back to waiting humvees.


Sophie Calle (French, b. 1953) 'The Hotel, Room 47' (L'Hôtel, Chambre 47) 1981


Sophie Calle (French, b. 1953)
The Hotel, Room 47 (L’Hôtel, Chambre 47)
2 works on paper, photographs and ink
2140 x 1420 mm
Presented by the Patrons of New Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1999



This is a two-part framed work comprising photographs and text. In the upper part, the title Room 47 is printed below a colour photograph of elegantly carved wooden twin head-boards behind a bed covered in rich brown satin. Below it, three columns of italic text are diary entries describing findings in the hotel room between Sunday 22 February 1981 and Tuesday 24. In the lower frame a grid of nine black and white photographs show things listed in the text above. This work is part of a project titled The Hotel, which the artist has defined:

“On Monday, February 16, 1981, I was hired as a temporary chambermaid for three weeks in a Venetian hotel. I was assigned twelve bedrooms on the fourth floor. In the course of my cleaning duties, I examined the personal belongings of the hotel guests and observed through details lives which remained unknown to me. On Friday, March 6, the job came to an end.” (Quoted in Calle, pp. 140-141.)

Each of the twelve rooms gave rise to a diptych of similar structure following the occupancy of one or more guests during the period of the artist’s employment at the hotel. Some rooms feature more than once as a second set of guests occupied them, giving rise to a total of twenty-one diptychs in the series. Calle’s descriptions of the hotel rooms and their contents combine factual documentation along with her personal response to the people whose lives she glimpsed by examining their belongings. Each text begins with the chambermaid/artist’s first entry into the room and a notation of which bed or beds have been slept in, with a description of the nightwear the guests have left. A list of objects usually follows, as the artist transcribes her activities in the room. Calle is unashamedly voyeuristic, reading diaries, letters, postcards and notes written or kept by the unknown guests, rummaging in suitcases, and looking into wardrobes and drawers. She sprays herself with their perfume and cologne, makes herself up using the contents of a vanity case, eats food left behind and salvages a pair of women’s shoes left in the bin. Outside the room, she listens at doors, recording the occupants’ conversations or any other sounds she may overhear, and even peers into a room when the floor-waiter opens the door to catch a glimpse of the unknown guests.

The absent occupants described in Room 47 are a family of four – two parents and two children – as revealed by their four pairs of slippers. Calle does not go through their suitcase, commenting: ‘I am already bored’. From their passports she discovers that the parents are a married couple from Geneva and she copies out four postcards one of them has written. Words on one of these hint at problems within the family.

Calle began her artistic projects in 1979 on returning to Paris after seven years’ travel abroad. Disorientated, she felt like a stranger in her own city, not knowing how to occupy her time. She started to follow random passers-by and spend her days as they did. Eventually she picked up the camera she had been experimenting with during her time abroad and photographed the strangers, writing diaristic notes of their movements. From this she has developed a particular way of working, collecting information about people who are absent and investigating her subjects like a detective. The Hotel follows directly from a project the artist undertook the previous year entitled Suite Venetienne 1980, which evolved from a chance encounter with a man she had been following in Paris. He told her he was going to Venice, so she followed him there in disguise, documenting her observations. After a year of planning and waiting, she returned to Venice in 1981 as a chambermaid.

The Hotel diptychs were produced in an edition of four in English and four in French. Tate’s copy of Room 47 (22 February) is the first in the English edition. Another version of Room 47 exists for the period 2-6 March.

Elizabeth Manchester
June 2005

Text from the Tate website [Online] Cited 26/12/2019


Walker Evans. 'Subway Passengers, New York' 1938


Walker Evans (American, 1903-1975)
Subway Passengers, New York
Gelatin silver print


Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (American, born Austria, 1899-1968) '[Lovers at the Movies, Times Square]' c. 1953


Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (American born Austria, 1899-1968)
[Lovers at the Movies, Times Square]
c. 1953
Gelatin silver print
26.7 × 35.4cm (10 1/2 × 13 15/16 in)
© International Center of Photography



Exposed offers a fascinating look at pictures made on the sly, without the explicit permission of the people depicted. With photographs from the late nineteenth century to present day, the pictures present a shocking, illuminating and witty perspective on iconic and taboo subjects.

Beginning with the idea of the ‘unseen photographer’, Exposed presents 250 works by celebrated artists and photographers including Brassaï’s erotic Secret Paris of the 1930s images; Weegee’s iconic photograph of Marilyn Monroe; and Nick Ut’s reportage image of children escaping napalm attacks in the Vietnam War. Sex and celebrity is an important part of the exhibition, presenting photographs of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Paris Hilton on her way to prison and the assassination of JFK. Other renowned photographers represented in the show include Guy Bourdin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Lorca DiCorcia, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Lee Miller, Helmut Newton and Man Ray.

The UK is now the most surveyed country in the world. We have an obsession with voyeurism, privacy laws, freedom of media, and surveillance – images captured and relayed on camera phones, YouTube or reality TV.

Much of Exposed focuses on surveillance, including works by both amateur and press photographers, and images produced using automatic technology such as CCTV. The issues raised are particularly relevant in the current climate, with topical debates raging around the rights and desires of individuals, terrorism and the increasing availability and use of surveillance. Exposed confronts these issues and their implications head-on.

Text from the Tate Modern website [Online] Cited 21/09/2010 no longer available online



Kohei Yoshiyuki (Japan, b. 1946)
From the series The Park
Gelatin silver print


Kohei Yoshiyuki (Japan, b. 1946) 'Untitled' 1971


Kohei Yoshiyuki (Japan, b. 1946)
From the series The Park
Gelatin silver print



Sandra Phillips on Surveillance – Exposed at Tate Modern

SFMOMA’s Curator of Photography Sandra Phillips describes how contemporary artists like Sophie Calle and Benjamin Lowry have started to talk back to surveillance.


Ron Galella (American, b. 1931) 'What Makes Jackie Run? Central Park, New York City, October 4, 1971' 1971


Ron Galella (American, 1931-2022)
What Makes Jackie Run? Central Park, New York City, October 4, 1971
Gelatin silver print
7 3/8 in x 9 7/8 in (18.73 x 25.08cm)
© Ron Galella



Ronald Edward Galella (January 10, 1931 – April 30, 2022) was an American photographer, known as a pioneer paparazzo. Dubbed “Paparazzo Extraordinaire” by Newsweek and “the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture” by Time magazine and Vanity Fair, he is regarded by Harper’s Bazaar as “arguably the most controversial paparazzo of all time”. He photographed many celebrities out of the public eye and gained notice for his feuds with some of them, including Jacqueline Onassis and Marlon Brando. Despite the numerous controversies and claims of stalking, Galella’s work was praised and exhibited in art galleries worldwide.

Text from the Wikipedia website


Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984) 'Couple Kissing, Girl Staring at Camera, Tortilla Factory, New York' 1969


Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984)
Couple Kissing, Girl Staring at Camera, Tortilla Factory, New York
Gelatin silver print
© Garry Winogrand/Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco


Denis Beaubois. 'In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…' 1996-1997


Denis Beaubois (Mauritian, b. 1970)
In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…
9 mins 30 secs
Courtesy the artist


Denis Beaubois. 'In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…' 1996-1997


Denis Beaubois (Mauritian, b. 1970)
In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…
9 mins 30 secs
Courtesy the artist


Georges Dudognon
. 'Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain, Paris' c. 1950s


Georges Dudognon (French, 1922-2001)
Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain, Paris
c. 1950s
Gelatin silver print
7 1/16  x 7 1/8 in. (17.94 x 18.1cm)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Members of Foto Forum, 2005.200
© Estate of Georges Dudognon


Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig). '[Marilyn Monroe]' c. 1950s


Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig) (American, 1899-1968)
[Marilyn Monroe]
c. 1950s
Gelatin silver print
International Center of Photography, New York, Gift of Wilma Wilcox, 1993
© Weegee / International Center of Photography / Getty Images


Shizuka Yokomizo (Japanese, b. 1966) 'Stranger No. 1' 1998


Shizuka Yokomizo (Japanese, b. 1966)
Stranger No. 1
Chromogenic print
50 x 42 1/2 in. (127 x 108 cm)
© Shizuka Yokomizo



Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
020 7887 8888

Opening hours:
Daily 10.00 – 18.00

Tate Modern website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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