('llRlS S'l‘lilillz-l’liRKlNS MAUNL‘M PHOTOS
Schoolchildren in the rain; Lesotho. South Alrica. 1981
submit their contact sheets from which editors make a selection but single images they have chosen themselves. There is no such a thing as a ‘Magnum photograph’. Magnum prides itself in having no house style and reflects the many cultures and countries from which its photographers come. Magnum photographers are more than just reporters with a camera. They picture events the way they see them and ignore the preconceptions ofdesk-bound picture editors.
The exhibition. In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers. is a spectacular (our (1' horizon which has been touring North America and Europe since 1989. Cleverly. the exhibition avoids
criticisms that an art gallery is not the place to view socially concerned pictures of wars. the inmates of mental asylums and Third World misery. Examples of magazines show how the photographs originally appeared on the page and this puts the pictures in perspective.
The most recent challenge to photography is the computer technology which allows photographs to be seemlessly manipulated in a way that is instant. efficient and almost impossible to detect. Often there is no negative with which to verify an image. ‘Electronic imaging.‘ opens up a Pandora‘s box ofproblems ofthe kind that Magnum has stood resolutely against for more than 40 years.
Will Magnum's high ideals stand up‘.’ "The
experimentation of Magnum photographers i may become increasingly important as much
of the heart ofthe medium changes.’ says one ofthe exhibition‘s selectors. Fred Richtin. ‘A growing concern is that there be people left to say things authentically who can reach the public. and not lose interest in exploring the increasingly volatile. variegated complexities of the day.‘
In Our Time: The H'orldus Seen hv .llugnum Photographersrimsalt/1e Meir/Ian Galleries. (i/usgtmj/mnt .t’ xl ugllsl In 3 7 October. A book ofthe ('.t‘/Il/7lfl(lll is wired [21.95.
The List leluly — 8 August l‘l‘ll 11