Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Expired Photography Exhibition: Sean Rohde
We often strive to preserve which will eventually be no more, those expired objects that surround us, and photography is one method of preservation, to create an image of what is and what was, or may soon be no more. Sean Rohde chooses to preserve the concept of expired in the Southwest with film that is also expired. More specifically, expired Polaroid instant film. Using fully manual, vintage Polaroid cameras from the 1960s and 1970s (more specifically the 180, 190, 195 and Colorpack III), he explores the deserts and towns of Arizona, California and Utah to record and preserve images of objects and places that are often gone six months after. The film he chooses includes Type 669, Type 690, and ID-UV, all color films, all expired anywhere from 1995 to 2008. Polaroid film itself is a virtually expired medium. There are those that continue in the spirit of Polaroid, but these specific Polaroid films will soon be long gone.
Sean Rohde shoots what he sees, making no changes to the environment, yet the images often display the essence of the Southwest rather than being straight shots of what is in front of the camera…a combination of film and camera choice, technique and photographic eye. The colors of red, orange and blue are present throughout the Southwest as shown in these photographs, and the colors often seem burned by our desert sun. The prints themselves are sometimes ragged and faded, which only serves to enhance the subject matter. The prints are expired objects, presenting images of expired objects, and it is worth noting that they will not last forever. They will crack and peel, curl and fade. These Polaroid prints are literal, tactile representations of the “expired” theme that is presented in the photographs. These are here to look at, these expressions of expiration…for now.
Sean Rohde has lived in Phoenix since June of 1997, having spent 27 years of his life previously in northern Indiana. Working as a registered nurse, he spends his free time shooting many analog film formats with vintage cameras. More of his work may be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjrohde and you may read his ramblings about film and camera reviews/modifications at http://moominsean.blogspot.com