Burden Of Proof: The Construction of Visual Evidence
The use of photography as factual evidence in the courtroom became an essential tool in the service of justice from the late 1800s. Over the following century however, the reliability of photographic ‘facts’ were ardently debated, sometimes legitimately contested and often contradicted.
The exhibition presents eleven case studies spanning the period from the invention of ‘metric’ photography of crime scenes in the 19th century to the reconstruction of a drone attack in Pakistan in 2012 using digital and satellite technologies. These offer an analysis of the historical and geopolitical contexts in which the images appeared, as well as their purpose, production process and dissemination.
The Photographers’ Gallery
16 – 18 Ramillies St
An amazing exhibition defining the use of photography as forensic evidence, from the early uses in murder scene of the crime evidence to war crimes and evidence of land occupation.
The haunting poverty of the French murder victims shows the grubby desperation and sadness of murder, the images feel more shocking in our sanitized world of cosy crime TV and film. The exhibition leads you on to images of The First World war bombardments often the only evidence that whole communities lived or existed, showing villages and towns that have been pulverized.
War is represented many times from the film reels from the death camps in World War Two, where film footage was shown to the people accused of the crimes, to finding a war criminal and using emerging video technology to identify Joseph Mengele, the Auschwitz doctor who experimented on prisoners.
The Russians executed in Stalin’s purges are represented with beautifully touching portraits, one where the sitter must have known they would die within days.
We are brought up to date with Israel and Palestine displacements to drone attacks In Pakistan, again where lands and people have been wiped from the map.
I found this to be a very thought provoking exhibition, one that will resonate with me for a long time. On until the 10th Jan 2016