Friday, 26 November 2010

Indecent exposure, from the street to our screens

The issue of privacy brought up by a new exhibition and current film remind me of some photocopied photos pasted up in Shoreditch a while back. Those posters (pictured) showed a semi-clad woman captured in compromising positions and they may be another example of street art being ahead of the curve.

The second prize winner for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 - on show at the National Portrait Gallery until 20 February 2011 - is a relatively explicit picture of a naked woman. Panayiotis Lamprou's candid Portrait of my British wife, 2010, shows her wearing only a vest top, looking relaxed, sated perhaps. Shot outside their Greek holiday home on a hot summer's day, the photo wasn't initially intended for public consumption; its title hints at that other repository for these kind of snaps, Readers' Wives.

The question of whether to publish intimate shots forms the crux of director Ashley Horner's debut film, brilliantlove. Characters Manchester and Noon spend a summer shagging and soon Manchester's photos of their sex soon find their way to a broader audience (without girlfriend Noon's permission). Suddenly they - Manchester, Noon and the pictures - are a very public phenomenon.

A man in New Zealand was recently jailed for posting such a photo of his ex girlfriend on Facebook. In what was described as 'a certain symmetry', the judge ordered the offender to allow himself be photographed by the press. Not poetic, justice.

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