Even with the current surge in popularity of 3D cameras, there are few who consider the Nintendo 3DS a serious photographic device, with its dual-VGA sensors. Yet Magnum Photos has teamed up with Nintendo for a new exhibition of 3D photography. Magnum's Martin Parr, Thomas Dworzak and Gueorgui Pinkhassov all took Nintendo's ailing handheld console and produced a series of 3D images which were shown at the Magnum Gallery in Paris.
Vingt Paris went to see the exhibit and were hardly enthused, describing it as:
The exhibition has transformed the white walls of the Magnum Gallery into an upmarket video games console store. Several portable games consoles sit on flashy plastic Nintendo-branded pedestals. Peer closely at each console and you’ll see a slideshow of a few eerie 3D images of each photographer’s ‘perception’ of everyday life. ('Perception' because it could be too strong a word to use to describe the result.) The lack of a guiding artistic thread puts the spotlight on the tool rather than the work. The images are nothing to write home about and disappointingly so, especially from Magnum Photos’ best.
The 3DS is a bizarre choice for an exhibit showcasing the possibility of 3D photography, and smacks a little of a commercial tie-in. Sure, it's all about the photographer not the gear, and we've seen again and again that great work can come from humble cameras, but using a handheld that's in dire financial straits does seem a little like an attempt to drum up interest.
On the flip side, Martin Parr in the video above makes a good point about it being useful for street photography due to its unassuming form factor, and you can see him slip right into pro-photographer mode when posing people for the portraits he took.
It's a bizarre marriage between the two companies, and we wish some of the images were available online so we could see what they came up with.