I was in London again today and went to the The Photographers Gallery to see Jim Goldberg Open See.
Here is the text about the show: Open See documents the experiences of people who travel from war torn, socially and economically devastated countries, to make new lives in Europe. They have left often violent, oppressive, poverty-stricken or AIDS ravaged communities, in search of stability and the promise of a better future. Originating from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, these ‘new Europeans’ have met violence and brutality as well as hope and liberation in their new homes.
The show left quite an effect on me, the portraits of the migrants and their stories, but most of all how the Polaroid images had been written on and damaged. Unlike documentary stories and traditional photo essays where it feels like the photographer is parachuted in to capture or more likely just glimpse part of a story, and then leave. Goldberg's subjects participate in the image making process through writing on the images produced, a dialogue with the subject and photographer and then subsequently the subject and viewer. It was moving to read the stories that form part of Open See, from dreams of living in Europe, to documenting how the subject had been duped into prostitution.
The exhibition with its images at varying levels on the wall, exhibits in glass cabinets and video piece, gave a fresh feel to how to show photographic work.