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Monday, 18 March 2013

Magaluf after Dark?

 I enjoyed seeing Javier Izquierdo's Magaluf: Sex, Alcohol and Sun. It reminds me of Cardiff after Dark by Maciej Dakowicz mixed with The Park by Kohei Yoshiyuki.

The pictures of people having sex on the beach are the defining images though - with 3 layers of violation implied in it and a definite sense of vengeance in the making and taking of them. Or perhaps that's just me projecting.

The pictures were shot on the disposable camera which adds to the voyeuristic nature. I don't know if Izquierdo is going to continue the series and crank up that particular side of things, but I hope he does. It's always good to have someone make you proud to be English!


Anonymous said...

Totally agree, it's you projecting.

colin pantall said...

It's not me projecting, this is a clear case of somebody photographing people to make them look like complete cocks. Which isn't difficult in this situation.

Anonymous said...

"a clear case of somebody photographing people to make them look like complete cocks. Which isn't difficult in this situation."

True, they are cocks and it's not difficult. But you are certainly used to photograph others, to see the world from your own (ethnic, class, gender) perspective. All of the sudden you (for yourself, the communities you belong to, your country) become the subject of a camera, the ones being documented, observed, scrutinised without any sort of empathy. That surely feels awkward and it's like if the power of the apparatus only hurts in some else's hands.

colin pantall said...

I don't know. Perhaps Izquierdo does have empathy for his subjects?

Perhaps not.

Should he have empathy for his subjects? Is it necessary to have empathy for his subjects?

I think in certain situations, not having empathy for one's subjects (but pretending to) is part of a particular language.

I also think that the idea that one needs to have empathy for one's subjects is a barrier to photography, especially when it is photography of those in power.

So more empathy in some kinds of photography, and less in others.

I listened to Tony Blair talking about Syria this morning - was that empathy?

And I listende to Evan Davies talk about what he called the "...US-led war on Iraq."


Anonymous said...

Blair, Syria, Iraq are serious matters and empathy doesn't easily come into the equation. Photography however has also lots to do with power (representation) and still works really well in reinforcing prejudice no matter how smart or visually literate the audiences. Who in Izquierdos's Magaluf is really in power you think? The photographer or these groups of Brits that seem to have a complete sense of entitlement?

colin pantall said...

Actions in Iraq and Syria are sold on empathy. Blair used it throughout and still uses. It's completely in the equation.

Nobody has power in Magaluf, but the camera gives the illusion of power over a group of people who have the illusion of power provided by bar owners who have an illusion of power etc etc...

And that's before even getting onto the role of women in the pictures/Magaluf which brings a different layer again.

That's why it's interesting.