Light from the Middle East – V&A Gallery

As part of 154MC,
vi. 3 critical reflections (around 500 words each) on 3 discipline/practitioner events. For example: exhibitions, SU or other society events, interviews, visiting speakers eg Coventry Conversations etc

Below is one of my critical reflections of an exhibition I visited.


Light from The Middle East is an exhibition split into three sections. Recording, Reframing and Resisting. The exhibition presents work by artists across the Middle East through three different mediums of photography.
This collection of works shows how artists investigate into the language and techniques of photography. Where some photographers use the camera to record, the others approach it differently in the process that they show how unreliable a photograph can be. In this exhibition, there is a variety of works. Highly staged images to images that are beyond recognition due to extreme manipulation.

Below I have included some works which really stood out for me. These were because of the subject or the technique. I really enjoyed this exhibition, reason being, photojournalism is of big interest to me and some of the works I saw here really inspired me for my future.

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I love exhibitions like this as it allows me to discover new photographers that I have no yet seen the work of. From this, I was able to jot down a few names that stood out for me. The exhibition itself was set in 3 large rooms. Each room focused on a different part. As a whole, the exhibition was to show how photographers explore the techniques of photography whilst working in The Middle East. 

The exhibition has has three mediums to it. Recording, Reframing and Resisting.

The recording part questioned how reliable images could be. The works in this section explore the ability of the camera. 

The reframing section included works which were imitation images from the past that made statements about the present. I struggled to understand the gist of this one. 

The final part to the exhibition, Resisting focused on the manipulation behind images. It shows how fragile photographs can be, and similar to the first section, makes you question how reliable images can be. 


The works under the medium of Recording and Resisting really stood out for me and above, I have included some of my favourite works. It was hard to tell in some photos which technique the photographer was exploring. In the final section, Resisting, If I hadn’t of read the opening, I don’t think I would have understood the images and their technique. These images were based around manipulation. This was really useful at the time as I had just read a piece by Fred Ritchin about manipulation to images so it was good to see some work first hand. 


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