Article in the Japan Times about Taylor Deupree’s Polaroid photo exhibit in Tokyo at the NADIff Gallery.
By DANIELLE DEMETRIOU
Forget a diary with words. Instead, picture a cloudless sky, an empty street and a snow-filled forest. A year in the life of American artist Taylor Deupree is displayed in a new exhibition at NADiff in Ebisu, with one Polaroid snap taken every day throughout 2008. Twelve rows of photographs captured with a Polaroid SX-70 span a white wall, each image marked with the time it was taken (or an occasional question mark) along with a handwritten caption. A pictorial jigsaw puzzle-style overview of one year of the New York-based artist’s life, the end result is both vivid and intimate. At precisely 3.44 p.m. on Jan. 6, a photo of a forest is marked with the words “the sun came out . . . .” while a pensive mood prevails at 1.30 p.m. on March 21, with a close up of a guitar above the caption “looping.”
The work takes center stage in “Unseen,” the first solo photographic exhibition by Deupree, an established contemporary musician and founder of minimalist record label 12k. These include “Snow [Dusk, Dawn],” ethereal forest images shot on an expired Polaroid, which caused the image to vanish to black shortly after the picture was taken. The work presented a scanned copy of the image before it faded, along with the original black Polaroid and a specially composed extract of music, consisting of “fragile melodic loops” to reflect the transience of the image.
Other works include “Unseen Architecture,” shot with his specially modified Holga camera attached to a Polaroid printer (complete with sticky tape). Gone are the sharp lines commonly associated with architectural photography, replaced instead with blurred boundaries, grainy imperfections and a burned orange tinge. Speaking at the opening, he says: “In my music, I like to explore the imperfect, exploit the glitches in a sound. It’s the same with my photography. “I have always been drawn to things that are not perfect. I like to see the beauty in the mistakes or surprises that appear due to nature or by accident in an image.”
NADiff is open daily 12 p.m.-8 p.m.; free admission. For more information, visit www.nadiff.com (Japanese only)