The Authenticity of Contemporary Photography

November 11, 2020

The birth of the image is often arbitrary, but never loses the possibility of being interpreted. The camera holder has the ability to manipulate the field of view, the angle of viewing and thus the power structure, and because almost all people have the ability to hold up a camera lens photography becomes almost an art that is not an art.

In this lecture, Manbo Key, winner of the first prize of the Taipei Arts Award, responds to the “real” and “fiction” of photography with the historical clues of the development of Taiwan's underground culture and transgender identity in the work Father's Video Tapes, and further discusses and how contemporary photography can address issues within one’s personal life.

Father's Video Tapes by Manbo Key is a project that has been developed for more than a decade. The artist uses photography, video, object and installation to trace, understand or represent the magical, detached yet surprisingly realistic relationship between his father and himself. In the 90s, he discovered his father’s selfie video tapes and inevitably found out about his father’s sexual orientation, which led to his new understanding of the role of “father”–whether what it means to individuals or how it is defined by society.

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