Review of photography exhibition ‘Time, Conflict, Photography’ at the Tate Modern.
A photographic canvas stretches across a wall in the Tate Modern. Slowly fading from black to white, the only discernible shape is in the centre, what looks like the leaves of a palm tree. Having come to the Tate for their Conflict, Time, Photography exhibition (running until March 2015), this was not an image I expected to see. Intrigued, I explored the accompanying text. Here, the photographer in question explained that as an embedded journalist, assigned to a specific military unit, he was not allowed to take photos of what he would usually have documented – colleagues kidnapped and killed, communities destroyed. Instead, when each of these events occurred he exposed a piece of photographic paper to sunlight, a memento of the images never captured, producing the work in front of me.
Creating this sense of ‘absent presences’ made this one of the most successful war exhibitions that I have…
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