These pictures were shot by Sara Monk on the day we visited the “Exposed” exhibition at Tate Modern, showing and discussing the moral issues of voyeuristic photography that Mrs Monk is fond of. Not that Mrs Monk is into voyeuristic sexual and violent pornography, (and yes there is some of that in the show), but because that would be to miss the more interesting careful examination of just where the line is now drawn.
Is there ever an acceptable interaction of a candid camera and an unknowing subject? I have been attacked by family members for doing just that, and have never done so with malice.
Candid portraits are arguably preferable because they remove a fake smile or a pompous air., and are more easily achieved by snapping without consent. As we entered the Tate show, the man who greeted us at the door declined Mrs Monk’s unusually polite invitation to take his photograph.
That is of course why such photographs are stolen, and why it is the theft that renders the image, voyeuristic.
I was thinking about these issues last year when I made this short movie about a a single photograph by Mrs Monk. “This Picture”