Security guards to man Tate Modern ‘voyeurism’ show

May 26, 2010

Voyeurism show at Tate Modern

Picture: Greta Garbo in the Club St Germain in the 1950s

Photo credit: Estate of Georges Dudognon

Fears children will be exposed to shocking images – including pictures of death – have prompted Tate Modern to ensure security guards man parts of an exhibition, which opens on Friday.

The ?Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera? exhibition is billed as giving a fascinating insight into photos taken ?surreptitiously? or ?without the explicit permission of those depicted?.

It includes images by amateur photographers, press photographers and CCTV cameras, covering subjects ranging from pornography and paparazzi photos, to espionage, war photography and ?witnessing violence?.

On the latter the exhibition questions whether photography allows us to ?bear witness to a victim?s suffering? or ?anaesthetises us to the horror?.

Separate rooms at the gallery are devoted to each subject.

Simon Baker, the Tate?s curator of Photography, said the museum made a ?conscious decision? to place warning signs at the entrance to parts of the exhibition amid concerns that parties of schoolchildren may visit the show.

Speaking to Amateur Photographer, Baker said organisers will also position guards at the entrance to stop young people entering.

?Images ranging from the 1870s to the present day present an alternately shocking, illuminating and witty perspective on subjects both iconic and taboo,? writes Sandra S Phillips, a senior curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in a book that accompanies the show.

?The work of street photographers and paparazzi, amateur shots of death and disaster, police surveillance photography and the recent trend for the self-documentation of private acts on the internet are all examined and explored??

Last year Tate Modern was forced to withdraw a controversial nude picture of Brooke Shields as a child actress following police advice.

Harry Callahan at Tate Modern

Picture: Untitled, Atlanta 1984

Photo credit: Harry Callahan

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