Wednesday 8 June 2011

Face in the Crowd

Chris Mullen has written at Visual Telling of Stories of the travelling band of assorted players and extras that seem to accompany the itinerant postcard photographer. Right on cue they assemble a facsimile of street life in front of the photographer’s tripod, carrying ladders, pushing handcarts, engaging total strangers in animated conversation, admiring their reflections in shop windows, addressing remarks to a wayward child. The contrived effect is often ruined by a passing bonehead who insists on staring directly into the camera lens with feet planted apart and rooted to the spot. This small selection of cards come from occasions when the photographer had no need of this repertory company and feature crowds, posed and unposed – the vastness of the crowd is, in effect, the subject of the picture.

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