Someone else’s frame

I found this passage while reading an article by Adrian Searle for Frieze Magazine and I thought it fitted with how it feels to walk around a place like the Tower of London.

‘And when, on the street or at some famously photogenic site, you find yourself about to step into someone else’s frame, to pass between the lens and what it points at, there is a conscious moment when you decide whether or not to enter the camera’s cone of vision. Whether to duck, go round the back or wait. It is embarrassing to wait., but we do it anyhow. And if the camera is pointing at someone, rather than a monument or a scenic view, when the subject notices your presence and your discomfort they change their expression and that’s what the camera records. Like it or not, you’re in the picture. And when you look at photographic images they end up in you, so perhaps the situation is reciprocal. It seems like a fair deal, and we all end up significant strangers in other people’s lives. And this is where some stories, and most relationships begin.’


2 thoughts on “Someone else’s frame

  1. Upon reading Searle’ passage; “photographic images end up in you”, reminded me of an article i recently read referring to representation;

    To Assure herself a consistent screen personality, Greta Garbo insisted on being photographed always by the same camera man. And marlene Dietrich, in changing camera men, changed her screen personality.

    So, when having your picture taken, whom would you least mind resembling or having a relationship with?

  2. I think this can be illustrated quite well by a man who has his image very much in his own control – Tom Waits. If you google image search his name 98% of the pictures of him are Black and White and perpetuate his slightly vintage skid row look. Tom Waits and Nick Cave both use the photographer Anton Corbijn (who recently made the film about Joy Division ‘Control’). Corbijn’s photographs seem to add a artistic wieght and integrity to his sitters.

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