The very title of the show “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera” promises intellectual and aesthetic excitement and indeed other rather less elevated pleasures. Yet in this large—overly large—exhibition, these great expectations soon wither, giving way to bleakness. The very word “exposed” is ambiguous, and this ambiguity has led to the muddled assembling of quite disparate photographs, linked only by a metaphor.

Street photography, from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century with the invention of the small, hand-held, concealable camera to the sensitive contemporary work of Julie Foreman, has little in common with voyeurism and surveillance. The subjects may not know that they are being photographed but they are merely portrayed as they are, quite openly leading their everyday public lives. They have nothing to hide, nothing to feel embarrassed about, and nothing secret or untoward...

 

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