Tropenmuseum

Over ideologie en intimiteit in de fotografie (About Ideology and Intimacy in Photography)
Ceremony Dutch Documentary Awards

June 6, 2012: Tropenmuseum Amsterdam.

It is widely accepted that documentary photography deals with grand narratives, and the best examples visualize our collective worries and hopes. This is perhaps why the works of very different masters such as Civil War chronicler Matthew Brady and Post World War II photographer Cas Oorthuys strike us simultaneously as true accounts and as ideological statements. Modern photographers seem more preoccupied with the everyday lives and rituals. Their works fit within the social trend towards informality, characterized by the constant exchange of personal information, which seems to point at a new ideology, that of intimacy. Yet, as I argue, some photographers including the ones sought out for this prize, subvert this ideology. With an obvious disregard for aesthetics, photographic conventions, and even composition, they show the intimate details that people would never show on Facebook: of struggle, loss, poverty, defeat and self-destruction.

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