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Instant Stories: Wim Wenders' Polaroids

20 Oct 2017 - 11 Feb 2018

This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to see the personal and previously unseen Polaroid work of Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Wim Wenders (b.1945, Germany) and provides a singular insight into the artist’s thought processes, preoccupations and aesthetic inspirations.

Whilst his larger photographic works are well known, this is the first time he has shown a selection of the many thousands of Polaroid photographs taken, both on and off location, between the early 1970s and mid 80s. Wenders’ fascination with the Polaroid form stems from his early adoption of the format while he was learning the craft of film-making in the late 60s. Polaroids operated as a visual notebook, a way of testing out frames and ideas, but more than that they offered him a kind of liminal space between the subject and the photograph, the photographer and the act of taking a photo, the intention and the outcome.

“The entire Polaroid process (and procedure) has nothing to do with our contemporary experience, when we look at virtual and vanishing apparitions on a screen that we can delete or swipe to the next one. Then, you produced and owned ‘an original’! This was a true THING, a singular object of its own, not a copy, not a print, not multipliable, not repeatable. You couldn’t help feeling that you had stolen this image-object from the world. You had transferred a piece of the past into the present.” -  Wim Wenders,  writing in his Artist’s book of the same title, Autumn 2017