What Is This Thing Called Polaroid?
focuses on the unique nature of Polaroid photography and the intimate relationship that the artist Ulay developed with this medium. Ulay has been exploring and stretching the possibilities of Polaroid since the 1970s, which resulted in radical and groundbreaking work. For him the unique and immediate character of each Polaroid photograph was, and still is, a perfect match for his performance and body art. The experiments that Ulay conducted even led him to start working inside the large format Polaroid camera, radically merging the body of the artist with the body of the camera while the image is being created.
This book provides insights on Ulay’s artistic pursuits with Polaroid and also explains the historical background of Polaroid, technical innovations, the specific chemical processes, and the challenges of conserving Polaroid prints. | more
(pseudonym of Frank Uwe Laysiepen. Solingen DE 1943) was trained as a photographer. Between 1968 and 1971 he worked extensively as a consultant for Polaroid. In the 1970s and 80s he explored the notion of identity in both (Polaroid) photography and performance. From 1976 to 1988 he closely collaborated with Marina Abramović. In recent years, Ulay has been engaged in artistic projects that raise questions on e.g. marginalized individuals, on national symbols and on the importance of water. Although primarily working in photography, Ulay still strongly links to the 'performative', through lecture-performances and workshops. | back