They are secret. They are hidden from the general public. Contact sheets offer an intimate look into the photographic process – publishing them is rather like breaking a taboo. Normally.
From September 11 to December 9, 2015, Foam in Amsterdam is presenting the exhibition "Magnum Contact Sheets" – which has just been on display at C/O Berlin. The exhibition put together by the Magnum Agency, reveals 60 contact sheets of photos taken by the likes of Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Werner Bischof and Trent Parke between 1930 and 2010. It is the first time that viewers are offered an insight into the photographic process, including moments captured before or after an iconic picture was taken, and discovering comments and notes written in the margins.
"Contact Sheets" is not only a homage to the photographers, but also reflects an art-form that has all but disappeared. In the digital age, analogue photography seems to be suffering the same fate as the contact sheet: it will also soon become a phenomenon belonging in the archives.
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