Light from the Royal Festival Hall

The Lartigue show at the Hayward is great. I really admire his playfulness and experimental spirit. The upstairs show, ‘About Face: Photography and the Death of the Portrait’, not only has a naff sub-title but also seems to get itself in a knot about the use of technology in photography, which they say is “challenging our perceptions of beauty and truth”.

At one point, the curators say we can no longer accept the idea of portraits being windows on the soul (who ever did?) and then alongside a series of red-eyed (from flash) teenagers, they claim the red eyes made them look like predators (or words to that effect). As if non-predatory people won’t have red eyes. They go on to say that the red-eye effect is a “technical glitch normally removed in printing”. Hilarious.

There are some interesting things in it but I recommend ignoring the interpretation boards. This is another of my “diCorcia without flashlight” pictures.

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