The Image as Question: An Exhibition of Evidential Photography


28th September – 26th November 2016

Michael Hoppen Gallery 3 Jubilee Place London SW3 3TD

Opening Times: Mon – Fri, 9:30am – 6pm Sat, 10:30am – 5pm

Admission: Free

For Further information: (0)20 7352 3649






The Image as Question: An Exhibition of Evidential photography is a visual theatre of post-documentary and artistic passion, encompassing a myriad of expression including the scientific, criminal and biographical. It is rare that an exhibition can be nurtured into existence for almost a decade, but the curation effort of Michael Hoppen and his team has culminated into a thematic exploration encrusted with semantically delectable jewels from the likes of Guy Bourdin, Man Ray, Edgerton and more, all empowering the carefully considered formation on display. Also pivotal to the plot is a patina of curious anon pieces which frequently express a esoteric sense of humour in accompanying the leading titles.

The 100 or so pieces presented do not completely form an archive of artefacts or a collection of empirical evidence but as the exhibition title suggests, conjure their own question for the audience to explore and contemplate throughout their visit. The challenge of solving the cryptic of when these pieces became apparently unhinged and repurposed substantiates spending at least an hour in the space, exploring the nuances of each piece on display as none is succinct. Several structural clues are embedded in a macabre series of phrenological and evidential works which describe a materiality, in doing so moving towards a mixed media experience.

This exhibition’s answer lies within dissecting each motif as described by an unreliable and imaginative narrator as he articulates an intriguing drip fed narrative. Each piece of evidence has varying weight and substance which is how the pseudo-documentary is differentiated from evidential. It is key how these images interact with each other within a system of elements derived from disparate sources and also what makes this exhibition unique and exciting. It is difficult to reimagine original standalone pieces of work into different context entirely, but the Michael Hoppen Gallery has done so, creating a meandering, thought invoking space in which the secret to curating  an excellent exhibition is declassified.

About the Author: Will Britten is currently studying at LCC (London College of Communication) for a BA in photography. He is super passionate about anything analogue and manages to completely engross himself in many different alternative processes. A true film lover and we’re lucky enough to have him part of our team.

 William Britten Flickr , Instagram: Yaohen

Images credit top to bottom: 
DR. Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchesse Rire faux (False laugh) from Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine, 1862 Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
Valery Khristofrov Cribs, the faculty of journalism of Moscow State University, 1984 Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
Simon Norfolk Burnt ling cabinets, Iraqi National Archives, Baghdad April 2003 Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
Melanie Einzig September 11th, New York, NY 2001 Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery