(Australia 06 Apr 1927 – 23 Jan 2003)
23.3 x 35.6 cm image; 28.3 x 39.4 cm sheet
Positioning himself by leaning out from the curb-lined crowd, photojournalist David Moore on assignment for ‘Life’ magazine was able to take this remarkable photograph, capturing a political event, as Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, the two most powerful men in the Soviet Union, left Chequers, the English Prime Minister’s country residence. During the Cold War in April 1956 Sir Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, invited Bulganin and Khrushchev for a goodwill visit after Khrushchev’s historic speech in February where he had dared to criticise Stalin. The strength of this image lies with the juxtaposition of power and two small English school boys holding toy pistols. The sharply focused solid black official car, with reflections masking the ruthless figures inside, is closely followed by the centrally positioned motorcycle escort as it quickly emerges from an indistinct crowd and misty light – a familiar scene in grainy Second World War films of the Third Reich. Although the boys are probably more interested in the motorcycle, the image can be read as a sinister metaphor of the impotence of the people against the might of the Soviet state.
When asked how he prepared for a photo assignment, Moore stated: ‘Inevitably you have preconceived ideas about any subject you approach. But it's important not to let those attitudes and feelings override what the subject is going to say to you.’1
1. Swainston J 2003, ‘David Moore: an appreciation’, 24 Jan. See www.nikonclub.com.au/lightreading/profile/davidmoore/index.html. Accessed 20.06.2006
© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007
Sandra Byron, David Moore: Australian Photographer Vol 1, McMahons Point, 1988, 74 (illus.).
Rose Peel, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Australian postwar photo-documentary', pg.189-207, Sydney, 2007, 193, 199 (illus.).
David Moore: Fifty Years of Photographs, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Nov 1988–18 Dec 1988