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Works on Paper gallery, Level 5, Te PapaPrevious Exhibition
The back of a man in handcuffs. A swimmer in a bad-snapshot moment. A partial view of a woman planting rice.
We might expect photographs to tell us stories about the world, but these works deny us the satisfaction. They are more concerned with the human form than with particular people.
All recall the long tradition of the figure study in Western art. But where painters, say, build their images from a blank canvas, photographers must first contend with the world of appearances. Here, they create by subtracting – by cropping or obscuring to remove the specifics of a person, place, or event. In doing so, they make space for the human body to speak.