Who is the director behind the Polaroid?
Text Gian Paolo Serino
Instant Stories is the personal exhibition – staged at the London ‘Photographers’ Gallery’ until 19 February – that Wim Wenders, the German director of movies like Paris, Texas and Der Himmel Über Berlin (the Sky above Berlin), wanted to present himself displaying more than two-hundred photos taken with a Polaroid. Now this exhibition becomes a catalogue: Polaroid Stories, at library shops for Jaca Book Editore from the end of November.
Accompanied by unpublished texts written by Wenders, the singer songwriter Patti Smith and the American writer Sam Shepard, theatre author and also screenwriter of Paris, Texas.
Polaroids are in black and white and in colours, they were taken between 1968 and the Eighties. These two hundred forty shots, veritable paintings, show the director on the set, self-portraits and portraits of friends, landscapes and horizons, photos from the first travels to the United States, film heroes of the American TV, the German province of the Seventies.
The pictures – taken during the shooting of Summer in the City, The Wrong Move, The American Friend, The Scarlet Letter, Tokyo-Ga and The bear in the stone ring are the journey ‘on the road’ made by a film-director who has always preferred to visions the burnt wings of our little humans’ brusque digressions aiming at existence while getting lost, like thousands of catastrophes crushed in the body which represents our universe of dis-comfort.
They are not the waiting-room of a society which during these years has been defined liquid but of a society which is going into liquidation. Faces are swollen by the wind of (human) being, looks are marked by an emotional desert of metropolitan echoes, objects become the grammar of our life. Wenders, and here his genius, anticipated Steve McCurry, a celebrated American photographer, producing ultra-modern acoustic paintings with Edward Hopper’ paintings.
Jaca Book, pagg. 360, euro 50