“The rule of thumb for this sort of anti-photojournalism: no flash, no telephoto zoom lens, no gas mask, no auto-focus, no press pass and no pressure to grab at all costs the one defining image of dramatic violence."
- Allan Sekula, ‘Waiting for Tear Gas’, 1999”—http://antiphotojournalism.blogspot.com/
Antiphotojournalismexplores the practice of photojournalism from the 60’s to the present. The experts might be able to assess how the selected works challenge(d) the approach of photojournalism. The exhibition also encourages ordinary visitors like me to examine their relationship to images, especially images of conflicts.
During my first visit, I particularly looked into:
RFK Funeral Train by Paul Fusco is ‘a series of slides chronicling the reactions of mourners to the passage of the funeral train of assassinated American presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, as it travelled from NYC to his burial in Washington. […] (the work) is a kind of litany, a long, moving farewell to Kennedy and what had been a short season of hope.’ (Antiphotojournalism)
Untitled, From RFK Funeral Train, 1968 by Paul Fusco
Photographers in conflict by Goran Galic and Gian-Reto Gredig, is a moving and fascinating series of photographs and long form videotaped testimonies from photojournalists accustomed to work in zones of conflict or disaster. 'In the aftermath of Abu Ghraib and the Tsunami, a cross-section of 32 photographers was invited by the two artists into a Spartan, black painted studio, in order to capture their still portraits and video interviews. By isolating the photojournalists and placing then in front of their camera, Galic and Gredig reverse the asymmetrical power relationship between photographer and subject, and explore the self-perception of the photographers.' (Photographers in conflict)
The long-form videos allow the photographers to open up about different aspects of their ‘job’, the difficulty to come and go from these places, the difficulty to calm down at the end of the day, the compromise they have to make about the use of their photographs, the rumors according to which photojournalism is threatened by amateurs… After years of work in zones of conflict, these photographers still refuse to be cynical, try to ‘capture breaths of peace’, find ‘hope in darkest places’. (Tomas Van Houtryve). In that sense, they are heroic.