This is the first major exhibition of photography ever to be held at Tate Britain. It takes a unique look at the journey of British photography, from the pioneers of the early medium to today’s photographers who use new technology to make and display their imagery.
The images in this exhibition have come from the length and breadth of the UK, and include well-known oeuvres alongside mesmerising lost masterpieces. As well as famous names – William Henry Fox Talbot, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Bill Brandt, Madame Yevonde, Susan Lipper, David Bailey and Tom Hunter among them – the exhibition includes postcards, family albums, medical photographs, propaganda and social documents. It includes work by many women photographers and photographers from different cultural backgrounds who are usually underplayed in the history of British photography.
Ultimately, this is a treasure trove for any one who loves photography, and presents the extraordinary variety, breadth and idiosyncratic nature of one-and-a-half centuries of image making.
For the first time, Tate Britain invited members of the public to contribute to the content of an exhibition. How We Are Now invites you to add your photograph to the exhibition through the community and photo-sharing website Flickr.
I’m quite interested in this idea of crowd sourcing, and especially how it could help create a broader and more representative documentation of society. Applying my ideas surrounding racial identity, I should consider that identity formation forms in relation to other people in society. A race related project shouldn’t then necessarily be all about me, as racial identity is a much about other people as it is about me.
It’s also interesting to see the range of perspectives, and questions how many pictures and points and views are needed to reflect reality (if it is even fully possible at all). The use of Flickr as a tool to enable this social interaction helps to aggregate a range of views expressed in the photos. I should consider what type form of social media would help the ideas in project, as I think this participatory factor is crucial in contemporary media experience.