'Mass Observation' offers an examination of the role of photography in the Mass Observation Archive. Mass Observation (MO) was founded in 1937 as a radical experiment in social science, art and documentary. Its founders aimed to create a new kind of realism in response to the economic and political conditions leading up to World War II, aiming to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’ through artistic means and by collecting anecdotal evidence from people’s everyday lives and experiences. The Archive, currently held at the University of Sussex, consists of extensive written accounts of daily life, ephemera and photographs, while other works now form part of national museum collections.
Ademeit Horst, Secret Universe
'Secret Universe' is the title of the exhibition series under which, in 2011, the late Horst Ademeit’s work was first presented to a museum audience. It was a fitting choice for an exceptional corpus of Polaroid (and later digital) photography that was neither conceived as an artistic project nor intended for public exposure. Compiled over some fifteen years, beginning around 1990, these images were made for strictly personal, utilitarian ends.