8 November 2013 to 26 January 2014
Ever since Louis Daguerre pointed his camera at the moon in 1839 photographers have been interested in capturing images at night. Working on the dark side of the planet allows photographers to focus on things that are otherwise effaced by the Sun’s radiation. This not only includes celestial satellites and distant stars, but also terrestrial phenomena such as thunder storms, electrical power grids and phosphorescent plants and animals.
Photographers are not alone, of course, in being attracted to the unique atmosphere of the evening hours. The night has long been the provenance of criminal endeavours, sexual liaisons, spiritual reflection and other subtle activities; it is a landscape of strange encounters, ghostly apparitions and solitary quests.
Summer nights presents a selection of photographs from the MGA Collection. These works testify to an ongoing interest in the formal qualities of nocturnal photography (high contrasts and slow shutter speeds) as well as an enduring fascination with the spooky, restless and festive aspects of life that emerge when the Earth turns its back on the Sun.