12 Jun 2020

eye opening

There are far more significant impacts on peoples' lives in lockdown but, for the privileged, access to collective experiences of any description are one that people miss. The last exhibition I saw feels in retrospect both prophetic in its content and historic as an example of a world since turned upside down.
Our experience is now like a lot of things screen based so I was impressed by the approach Four Corners took to switching their Another Eye exhibition to an online version.
Another Eye exhibition
Another Eye exhibition catalogue cover
A survey of women photographers displaced from Germany and Austria in an era of anti-semitism and political persecution to make new lives in Britain in the 1930s caught my attention as another reflection of our times. The perspectives  and subsequent influence of these women was fascinating to discover. I confess the only one I was familiar with was Dorothy Bohm who I had the fortune to hear speak a couple of years ago at Street London. 
Another Eye exhibition - social documentary
Illustration from Another Eye
The significance of Gerti Deutsch, Elisabeth Chat and Edith Tudor-Hart on the development of Picture Post was my highlight of the show. I love finding copies of this magazine which is such a rich resource of social history and discovering their work was another wake up to the (un)recognition of women in the history of photography.
This work are great examples of the humanist tradition of photography that publications such as Picture Post and Life championed. However nowadays it's a form that is rightly challenged. The rights of people to control the representation of their lives is paramount to help empower them and dismantle stereotypes. However for me the work in this exhibition has an integrity that does not dilute its effectiveness. It's a salient illustration of what an outsider can do using their own experiences of alienation. 
Empathy. An important word for our times.

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