Wim Wender's Polaroids

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Wim Wenders is equally renowned for his large-format photography which has been exhibited globally. His Polaroid work, however, is less well known, until recently shown at The Photographer's Gallery. A book of these works, 'Wim Wenders: Instant Stories' has been published to accompany the exhibition. 

 

 

Wenders amassed a vast collection of over a thousand Polaroids during the 1970s and 1980s, using them as both artistic inspiration and personal record both on and off location. His fascination with Polaroids began when he learnt to be a filmmaker in the 1960s, using them as a means of fine tuning his aesthetic vision and playing with framing devices to translate onto the screen. 

 

 

For Wenders the singularity of the Polaroid format is what interests him most. He has stated: "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."

 

 

The book 'Wim Wenders: Instant Stories', available hereis a photographic road trip through the life of the artist, from his early travels through America’s cinematic landscapes to the German provinces and beyond. Arranging the images as a sort of storyboard', accompanied by his own texts, short stories and haikus.

 

Wim Wenders: Instant Stories, Hardback, 320pp, £40.

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