Museum Trip – The Power of Pictures

Entering The Power of Pictures at The Jewish Museum, entering felt like a small place to run around. Most of the photos are placed on the walls, with some tables for large artworks. There was also a theater playing an old comedic Soviet silent film circa the 1920s. As the floor is shared with another exhibit, it is not as large as an exhibit on a dedicated floor. It felt like going through a home. Many of the photos that are in this exhibit are black and white photos mixed in with unique artworks and magazines, and some items such as a 1920’s era movie camera and a red photo book called Ten Years of Soviet Uzbekistan. The audience for this exhibit seems to skew towards people over 35 and anyone who is interested in early 20th century history.

The subject of The Power of Pictures is on the people who lived during the early days of the Soviet Union and the aesthetics of these images. Expect an experimental approach with these images.The majority of the photographs at the exhibit is mostly involve people. A lot of them were self-portraits, others were of people doing everyday things. There was also a section of the Soviet military. What I did not see was any incriminating images of despair and the like, as during that time photographers were only allowed to shoot happy images in order to keep morale in the union.

One of the photographs that caught my eye at the exhibit was Max Penson’s Untitled (Turkmen in Telpeks), mainly because of the leading lines at play with the three men all pointing at the newspaper in the middle. It does use a bit of repetition as all three men wear the same hat. It is shot from a slightly high angle.

The Power of Pictures is about the photographs and artwork of the early Soviet Union. It shows the amount of creativity from these photographers and much life is shown even during a time of great change.


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One Response to Museum Trip – The Power of Pictures

  1. rmichals says:

    You show a good awareness of the importance of ideology in these and probably all photos. The most important choice a photographer makes is what to show. As you state, there are no images here of misery. There are some images of the building of the massive White Sea Canal. Only by reading the captions carefully do we learn that it was built by political prisoners of whom between 12,000 and 25,000 died. We certainly don’t see their photos here.

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