Review: ‘Burden of Proof’

Review of ‘Burden of Proof’, a forensic photography exhibition which ran at the Photographers’ Gallery in London.

The Oxford Culture Review

‘A photograph’, wrote Salman Rushdie, ‘is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.’ As soon as you press your finger to the shutter, the story begins — everything that falls outside the frame matters as much as what you include. I’ve never been more acutely aware of this than in the timely ‘Burden of Proof’ photography exhibition, currently running at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Presenting a history of forensic photography from the early 1900s to the present day, the exhibition throws into sharp relief the vital role of the photographer in the justice process. In one corner, we see an image of a group of young men, talking as they share cigarettes. In the next picture along, the cameraman’s perspective has changed. The group now face away from the viewer; it becomes apparent that they are smoking before a pile of corpses. Are these men friends?…

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