You should know by now that I am obsessed with the l’Impossible Photographie exhibition in Paris (here, here, here and here).

There is a paucity of information about the full line-up of photographers in the show, compounded by very few online  images of those we do know about.

Brendan Seibel, the author of this review, and I have been exchanging emails and he has been filling me in.

First of all, many of the photographs from contemporary shooters had faces intentionally covered. This is due to French privacy laws.

There were shots of juvenile detention for which the photographer intentionally obscured faces through shutter drag or by means of scratched glass or the people covering their faces.

Other photographers shooting adults had either empty rooms, shots of people from behind, or the photos were displayed with marking tape covering the faces. Marc Feustel of Eye Curious thought it was funny, or interesting at least- I found it pretty inexcusable, particularly given the subject matter of the exhibition. Impossible Photography indeed.

I am gobsmacked! I asked Brendan to clarify. He did:

When I say tape on the pictures I mean the glass pane, not the prints themselves. Which is why I assume there’s some gallery work behind this manner of obstruction.

What!? Art-handlers and/or curators took the decision to use gaffer tape to make anonymous the portrait sitters!? Why bother using the photographs at all if you plan to deface them?

To apply tape after the fact is either a fantastic dada-turn (by artist, curator or the two in partnership) or it is the most ham-fisted exhibiting practice in recent history.

You might as well stop caring which way is UP^. What would the Art Handling Olympians say?

The three images above are not prints from the show.

They are illustrations I put together in my front room using a pane of glass, some gaffer tape and three portraits from Luigi Gariglio’s excellent book Portraits in Prisons.

Gariglio was not in the l’Impossible Photographie show.