20 October 1995 – 13 January 1996
The Photographers’ Gallery has always been committed to showing a wide variety of photography and its applications, including archives and non-art photography and collections which would otherwise remain unseen by the public.
“Curated by Christopher Pinney, Chris White and Roslyn Poignant of the Royal Anthropological Institute, The Impossible Science of Being examines the parallel histories and common strategies of anthropology and photography. Through a counter play of projected images, lantern slides, cartes de visites, rare books and original prints – many of which have never before been exhibited – the exhibition builds a thought provoking exploration of anthropology’s photographic legacy from its use as erotic material to its classification of the body. The inheritance of anthropological photography remains an area of controversial debate. New installations by contemporary artists Zarina Bhimji, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Dave Lewis, commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery and Autograph: The Association of Black Photographers, offer a critical response to this exhibition.”
Great magazine number 3.