On Monday the 21st, we headed off to London for the Tate Modern to primarily look at the William Eggleston exhibition that was being shown. He is known for hisrich and complex images of the American South, and he is largely credited with establishing the acceptance of colour in fine art photography.
From being born in Memphis Tennessee in 1939, the norm at the time for photography was for shooting in black and white. If you wanted to be noticed, this is what you had to do. So Eggleston was the one to go ahead and distance himself from this rule by shooting in colour film.
He stated that he never actually wanted to cause an uproar or anything like that at all, but rather all he wanted to do was actually show the world as we see it: in colour. With black and white, we are just limited to various tones, that aesthetically look amazing, but its not true. Colour is the truth as we see it all around us.
In this exhibition, we was looking at his project called Election Eve. With photos made from dye transfer, Egglseton had taken a road trip around America to see where Jimmy Carter’s campaign headquarters were based. What he wanted to show was the depict life that appears in the abandoned corner of the country during a high, tense moment filled with anxiety on a national stage due to the elections.
The first thing you notice when it comes to these pictures is how vibrant they are; the colours aren’t dull or lacking, but they stand out to you, especially the picture on the right hand side. But at the same time the colours seem to work well together in a nice way, in that nothing tries to overpower the other.
At the same time, these pictures are very simple as well. Eggleston hasn’t tried to do anything overbearing on the pictures in something flashy, which was what photographers at the time were trying to do as well. Rather he was just shooting every day stuff with objects that make the scenes that slightly bit more interesting.
On the same day, there was also another exhibition being held inside the Tate on the photographer Graciela Iturbide, who is considered to be one of the most important photographers working in Mexico today.
Her work subject has always varied slightly from time to time, but at the end it always boils down to one thing in the end: capturing the everyday life in Mexico (similar to what Egglseton did.)
However, Iturbide always aims to have a strong mutual relationship with the subject and artist. This can be seen in most of her work with rural communities, as she is able to take the pictures due her longstanding relationships with the local people.
Out of the two exhibitions, I actually couldn’t say which one was the best as they were both good in their separate aspects, so it made it hard to say which one wins. However I would say that it is worth it to go see both exhibitions as
they were both very good.