At Tate Modern

Brian Dillon

There are six people in the photograph, but only one of them knows it. A young woman in a crowd on Fifth Avenue in 1955 finds a lens in her face. People are not yet afraid of being photographed by strangers in the street; still, she leans away to her right, averts her gaze from the man’s impertinent Leica. Or so it seems: it’s hard to tell where she’s looking – she’s quite a blur, and her big dark eyes are further shadowed by overprinting. Between face and coat and soft bouffant she occupies perhaps two-thirds of the picture, and she would rather not be there. What she doesn’t know is that she’s little more than a hole in the middle of the image; either side of her is a sea of faces, all gawping or grinning towards their left, and all perfectly in focus.

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