Se and Be Seen

agrandir l'image

Amir Hossein Keihani, Black Birds, 2011

Se and Be Seen

The works that have been brought together under the theme of “see and be seen” explore photography’s ambivalent dialogue with the voyeuristic and exhibitionist gaze. This has been all the more pronounced since the advent of the internet as a public space, along with online social networks and images taken and sent by mobile phone, as well as new surveillance technologies. Today, thanks to mobile phones, anyone can be the witness to a scene and send it to the media; everyone is also under constant observation by omnipresent surveillance cameras. Whether as tools for democracy and security, or as instruments that can easily lead to dangerous excesses, recent technologies can satisfy the human need to see what is forbidden, but can also facilitate various forms of self-exploitation. This is echoed in the reappropriation of these inventions in contemporary photography, which is scrutinizing these new developments while incorporating their aesthetic possibilities.

Photography is thus probing the boundaries between the public and the private, domains which have played an important role in the photographic production of recent years and raise more and more complex questions about the right to images. Since the 1980s and the crisis of faith in the image, people have sought refuge in the authenticity of the private and the intimate. This is attested to by photography among the people during the Arab Spring; the human dimension of the images taken by ordinary citizens is striking. This 16th edition of the festival shows various aspects of the intrusive gaze that is inherent to photography. The medium has been a stimulus to the development of new technologies, and in turn has been pushed forward by these new developments.

Meeting Day


Portfolio Review
Septembre 8th 2012
11.00 - 17.00
Ecole d'Arts Visuels Berne et Bienne
21 rue de la Gabelle
2502 Biel/Bienne