A portable toilet next to a forest in autumn. This image, alongside others from 20 photographers is part of the Privacy exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery through Nov. 15, 2013. (Photo by Benjamin Rondel/Getty Images, image number 129757997)

Something to see: “Privacy,” as expressed by 20 photographers

October 30, 2013 | By Gemma Fletcher | Creative, Visual Trends

Jodie Foster caused quite a stir with her 2013 Golden Globe speech, when she talked about her life as a public figure and how “… every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show.”

But the actress also addressed something much bigger which speaks to us all:

“Privacy. Someday in the future, people will look back and remember how beautiful it once was.”

With more of our lives being shared through social networks, we’re challenging traditional notions of privacy and applying them to our own lives. And, with the development of consumer technology such as unmanned drones complete with cameras, Google street view and facial recognition software, those barriers are also being challenged from outside.

This was the catalyst for the Privacy exhibition, Oct. 25-Nov. 15 at the Getty Images Gallery, 46 Eastcastle St., London. The show, which is part of an ongoing trend research project from the Getty Images creative team, throws a spotlight on the story of modern privacy and questions the breakdown of barriers between private and public lives. It explores the impact of technology, urbanisation and personal space on the ability to maintain privacy in today’s society, and questions the idea of how private spaces become public without consent through unregulated surveillance. The exhibition also looks at whether privacy is an imperative in society today with the rise of social media and the trend towards sharing our personal lives with our online friends and followers.

The work of 20 photographers — based around the world – makes up the exhibition.

Ken Hermann’s Survivors, consider the issues around being permanently scarred by private conflicts. The image ‘Umma Aysha Siddike Nila,’ depicts a woman with facial and upper body scarring after her husband attacked her with acid following an argument, raising questions around the blurred lines between what is public versus private.

Jasper White’s work explores personal spaces and what the customisation of these spaces says about the occupants and David Ryle delves into our obsession with technology through the perspective of scale.

Getty Images SVP Creative Andrew Saunders explains.

“Privacy is a pivotal topic that touches all and impacts every facet of our lives. With this collection, we explore myriad meanings attached to privacy, from the simple idea of being able to find solitude, to the pervasive and often undetected invasion into our private lives.

“With such an expansive issue our goal was to curate a collection that spoke to all the iterations of privacy in modern life,” he said. “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved.”

Editor’s note: Can’t make it to London? Take a 360-degree tour of the exhibition, or view a lightbox of the images on our site.

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