Not quite photography as such, but this is an exhibition of contemporary artwork and archival material that unravels the legacy of ‘embeddedness’ as a working method, exploring its consequences across a range of practices and historical moments.
The career of Roger Fenton, arguably the first war photographer, is exemplary of an all too contemporary phenomenon: that of the embedded journalist. Having been sent to the Crimea in early 1855 by the British state, Fenton was blocked from taking pictures of the dead, the maimed or indeed any other subjects that would reflect poorly on the war effort abroad.
Due to the constraints of camera technology at the time, the photographs he returned to the popular press showed staged tableaux of a dignified military life. From its very inception, aesthetic journalism proved itself to be subject to directorial manipulations and interpretive control. The idea of the objective witness, the foundation of the journalistic attitude, was complicated by Fenton who revealed a way of working thoroughly embedded in its social matrix and complicit with the people his photographs represented.
Chris Evans | Roger Fenton | David Lamelas | George Levantis | Johannes Maier | James Merrigan | Bruno Serralongue | Barbara Steveni and the Artist Placement Group (APG) | Curated by Claire Feeley