Since its invention, the camera has been used to make covert images and Exposed at Tate Modern, reveals the sneaky, surreptitious shutterbug activities of legends, amateurs and unknowns from mid 19th century to the present day.
There are many ingenious and clandestine ways that the photographer seeks to capture the unknowing subject. Witness images taken by cameras that appear to be pointing in one direction but that have a hidden lens to the side, via two-way mirrors and by cameras hidden in walking sticks, shoes, watches, tie pins and button holes. Moving through the show, images that deliberately cross the lines of privacy and propriety increasingly implicate the visitor in these acts of voyeurism.
The powerful exhibition, which holds over 250 images and some video, provokes all kinds of reaction. Philip-Lorca DiCorcia's Heads captured by an elaborate series of hidden cameras and automatic flashes triggered by passers-by on the streets of New York in 2000 is spooky. Kohei Yoshiyuki's The Park shot in infared, is both amusing and creepy as it captures Tokyo's young peeping toms crawling through grass to spy on couples getting it on. Early paparazzi photography excites and intrigues. The horror of a 50 year old man's suicide bid is captured mid-jump from a Bristol bridge.
Exposed reminds us of the relentless lens upon us. Reach for your dark glasses (and camera) as you step back out into the most CCTV'd city in the world.
On until 3 October at Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. You could win a copy of the exhibition catalogue if you enter our Thames Barrier to Teddington Photography Challenge.