Robert E. Jackson's exhibition of his collection of Polaroids, cocurated with museum executive director and chief curator Benedict Heywood, is a curious and deeply interesting look into the candid lives of others. All the subjects and authors of these snapshots are unknown to Jackson—the photos are what Heywood described as "pure images." The Polaroid camera was responsible for leveling the playing field when it came to photographic authorship. Anyone could have one, and there was no special training needed to learn how to use it. All you had to do was aim at anything and push a button. The photos don't come across as narrative in and of themselves, but more like beautiful, half-second windows into random people's lives. They certainly appealed to my baser, voyeuristic self, the one whose nose is in everyone's business.
by Jas Keimig
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