Arab Today, arab today london city of dreams caught on polaroid
Last Updated : GMT 09:56:54
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

London, city of dreams caught on Polaroid

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today London, city of dreams caught on Polaroid

London - Arabstoday

Remember the Polaroid? You could be forgiven for thinking of the clunky 1970s camera that spat out “instant” prints as a format that, in our brave new digital world, was as obsolete as the windup gramophone. But SF Said, a Beirut-born writer and photographer, proves the medium is not only alive, but thriving. He’s about to have his first exhibition of Polaroids, all of them London landscapes, in the high-spending environs of Maggs antiquarian booksellers, in London’s Mayfair. His love of Polaroid is not about a 1970s aesthetic. “It’s got nothing to do with nostalgia,” he says. He gestures towards a picture in the show: “The 1970s did not look like that. To me, that looks like a dream or a memory. There is something in the colours and textures of Polaroid that I don’t think any other type of camera comes close to. It’s pure magic.” Said’s pictures do seem touched by magic. They’re unconventional, with notable “flaws” in the exposure, but possess an unsettling sense of mystery that will stop you in your tracks. “When I first saw them they blew me away,” says Carl Williams, the curator of the exhibition at Maggs. “SF has captured a side of London, a particular psychology of the city, which is all to do with things you know but can’t quite remember. They have a sense of the uncanny, what Freud called unheimlich. It’s very hard to deal in this feeling, but SF really gets it.” The pictures were taken for a book, London’s Lost Rivers, by Tom Bolton, published last year. Even native Londoners are often unaware that London is underscored by several waterways, such as the Fleet, the ­Tyburn and the Westbourne. Said and Bolton trudged around with an aquatic map of the city to research the book — a map that a 19th-century Londoner would have been familiar with but that has long since fallen out of use. Rather like the Polaroid. The exhibition also includes the photographic work of Jon Savage, the foremost historian of punk counter-culture in the 1970s, who wrote the acclaimed England’s Dreaming. Together, their pictures are a poetic, deeply felt response to forgotten London: edgelands, derelict sites, empty riverbanks, alleyways and tunnels. “I find it wonderful that London is a kind of palimpsest, that it contains all these layers of history and experience,” says Said. “The lost rivers project was a perfect way into that. I am fascinated by the idea that landscapes might have memories or dreams.” Polaroid, more than any other format, is perfectly suited to capturing this. It seems to scrabble away at the surface of things, trying to locate the intangible and invisible. Said uses a second-hand SX-70, a classic model first made in 1972, and scours dusty old pharmacies and eBay to buy expired film. New film is available again, thanks to the Impossible Project in New York, which saved Polaroid’s last factory at the 11th hour in 2010, but the quality, says Said, is not quite there yet. Said loves expired film, particularly in a range thrillingly titled Time Zero. Far from ruining an image, its ageing, unstable chemicals contribute to the dreamlike quality of his pictures. Leaking colours; blurring; unexposed corners; flame-like flashes of light across the surface; smoky shades of mauve and turquoise: Said uses them all to artistic effect. River Walbrook looks apocalyptic. Flames lick the landscape as night workers sweep snow from the streets. River Fleet, meanwhile, has a ghostly, Victorian, intensely melancholic quality. “With Polaroid, the camera and the film play as big a part as you do, and sometimes they know better than you,” says Said.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today london city of dreams caught on polaroid Arab Today, arab today london city of dreams caught on polaroid

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Nasima Gamei revives Algerian heritage in jewelries

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives Algerian heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?
Arab Today, arab today Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"
Arab Today, arab today Mental conflict endures

GMT 07:36 2017 Friday ,24 February

Mental conflict endures
Arab Today, arab today Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success

GMT 15:32 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Media host Mona Iraqi stresses her show's success
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار الثقافة والفنون
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today To hold social dialogue over secondary school

GMT 07:43 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

To hold social dialogue over secondary school
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 05:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Salma Rashid happy for 'A Whisper of Love'

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 23:29 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Home built on sand castles-style costs $8m

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 12:22 2017 Monday ,20 February

Kanye West puts hijab-wearing model
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday