Time was when taking a photo of your friends in a dimly lit club was not as easy as clicking your iPhone. Night Vision, a photography exhibition featuring 40 black-and-white images from the 1890s to the present, looks at the evolution of taking photos in the dark, starting with the early gelatin dry-plate process. The show moves through the works of black-and-white photography pioneers, such as Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen, to the famous 1930s photos of Paris at night by Brassaï, to a couple of nighttime experiments by Diane Arbus that have never before been shown or published, to David Deutsch’s 2000 Night Sun, photos of L.A. shot from a helicopter using a police search light. The exhibition exposes the complexity of taking pictures at night and the challenges that photographers have faced working around these limitations. Some have even gone so far as to use military techniques to spy on their subjects, such as Kohei Yoshiyuki’s series from the 1970s in which he used infrared film to photograph couples making out in public parks and the Peeping Toms in the bushes watching them.
April 26-Sept. 5, 2011
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 13, 2011