Exhibition

Instant Stories. Wim Wenders' Polaroids

20 Oct 2017 – 11 Feb 2018

The Photographers' Gallery

London, United Kingdom

Address

Travel Information

  • Just off Oxford Street so accessible by bus services to Oxford Street and a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus Tube Station.

Save Event: Instant Stories. Wim Wenders' Polaroids

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:

close

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

About

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 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 «

Instant Stories presents over 200 of Wenders’ Polaroids encompassing portraits of cast and crew, friends and family, behind-the scenes, still-lives, street-photography and landscapes. Alongside diary-like impressions and homages to his artistic inspirations, including Fassbinder and Warhol, the small format images take us on a literal and metaphoric journey through Europe and the US. From his first trip to New York, his fascination with American TV, views from rooftops (he’d never been so high up before), shop-fronts, roads, cars and many other visual recordings, Wenders’ Polaroids reflect a distinctive and lyrical vision – at once both intimate and portentous.

The exhibition will also feature a selection of moving images from his films, reflecting moments in Wenders’ canon, where Polaroid cameras and still photographs form a vital part of the narrative, such as the photo-obsessed protagonist in Alice in the Cities (1974).

Instant Stories. Wim Wenders’ Polaroids is a collaboration between The Photographers’ Gallery, C|O Berlin Foundation and the Wim Wenders Foundation.

Art form Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Wim Wenders

Supported by

Related events

Conversation

Have you been to this event? What do you think? Join the discussion here!
Remember, you can include links to your instagram pictures and to videos.