Sunday, March 20, 2011

Te Papa Visit - notes

Faraway places, 19th century travel photography.

- Photographers travelled across the world to bring back photographs of exotic and distant lands that people of the time had generally never seen before.
- the "naked realism" of photography had surpassed the romantic artists efforts that had been there prior.

thesis or message of exhibition,
the curator is showing this series of 19thC travel photography to show how the discovery of new + exotic places was very important to people of the time. only artists had seen the places prior and showed them in a way that is beautiful and romantic, but not entirely real. these images show foreign land as it was exactly, at the time - photo realism.

the exhibition is made up of 4/5 large prints and many books showing a double page spread of specially selected photographs - bar one. one book had a piece of paper covering one of the images. this was very distracting and posed questions of why they covered that image. what are they hiding? That aside the images in the books were beautiful, as were the books in themselves - pretty much artefacts in themselves. gold leafed pages etc. That style of presentation thoroughly relates to subject of the exhibition.

the books in which the images are displayed in are a perfect relation to the context and time of the images. the artefacts have aged over time and have turned into absolute amazing displays of work of the time.

dim lighting, beautiful old cabinet in the middle of the room. the artefacts all have descriptive lables explaining the time/place and a description of what was happening at the time + photographer if known.

I think the presentation of the books is a very strong point, weaknesses - lack of quantity, and the fact that you can only look at two images in each book. very dissapointing as the images are so beautiful you want to flick through the book. lighting could have possibly been a bit to dim, but if it was any brighter would damage the images over time.

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