I saw an exhibition at The Photographers Gallery about work life, called The Office. Some of it was brilliant, funny stuff, but some of it fell into that classic abuse of photgraphy - ethnography.

I guess you could say the exhibiton could be divided into two distinct approaches - one that looked at 'us' and how we work, or how we feel at work in offices and the other one seemed to be about 'them' or 'you'. They were photos that invite the viewer to come to conclusions about a group of people in the photo based only on the information provided in it. They seem to imply some kind of record or proof that something profound is unearthed through the process of photography.

Those earliest uses of photgraphy, when photography was first invented, seem never to have gone away. You know, when colonial explorers and anthropologists went around the world photographing "the natives", framing the photograph in such a way so that it allowed people back home, people from the 'civilised world' to make assumptions about those natives....
A picture tells a thousand stories and all that...
and they are, of course, all true.
We believe everything we see with our own eyes.

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