This event is part of our Past Programme
A forensic delineation of how photography has been used as evidence of war crimes and acts of violence…present(s) a catalogue of destruction on a scale that even oral testimony cannot hope to equal…haunting. - Sean O' Hagan, The Guardian
Burden of Proof: The Construction of Visual Evidence examines the way photographic images have been harnessed as evidence in instances of crimes or acts of violence suffered by individuals or groups.
The use of photography as factual evidence in the courtroom became an essential tool in the service of justice from the late 1800s. Over the following century however, the reliability of photographic ‘facts’ were ardently debated, sometimes legitimately contested and often contradicted.
The exhibition presents eleven case studies spanning the period from the invention of ‘metric’ photography of crime scenes in the 19th century to the reconstruction of a drone attack in Pakistan in 2012 using digital and satellite technologies. These offer an analysis of the historical and geopolitical contexts in which the images appeared, as well as their purpose, production process and dissemination.
This exhibition contains images that some viewers might find disturbing.
The exhibition has been co-produced by LE BAL, in Paris, The Photographers’ Gallery, in London and the Nederlands Fotomuseum, in Rotterdam.