“Emotion In Motion” – The Rebirth of Instant Photography

I was born early enough to know what a Polaroid is, but too late to understand what’s it all about. From the rather vague memories of my childhood, I managed to select a few interesting ones, I managed to keep some of them fresh. One of those memories is about a few youngsters who used to walk the beach with instant cameras in their hands taking photographs of everything and everyone, including you. 

Seeing how passionate they were made me think that at their age, I will wander the beach doing the same thing and more. I would picture myself photographing my future drunk friends, at night, by the fire in a very classical Vama Veche way. Of course that didn’t happen as I expected, the sun became my enemy a while ago and when I started taking photographs I started with the digital format and remained there until this day.

I haven’t given up the idea of taking instant photographs yet, my curiosity is still there and I’m still dreaming of covering the biggest wall in my house with photographs taken in the most random, embarrassing and even unfortunate, happy and important moments. It would be a very intimate and courageous visual diary.

(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers
(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers

My thirst for discovering new artistic domains, erased completely the idea of not going when Ioana Cristina Casapu invited me at a teaser workshop, for the upcoming exhibition “Emotion In Motion” .  The opening will be on 17th of august – 7:00 PM, for the first time in Bucharest at KUBE Musette on Calea Victoriei 114.

“Emotion In Motion” is a part of a larger project called “Romanian Polaroid Photographers”, founded by Ioana Cristina Casapu and  Dragoș Mălăescu. This project debuted last year in Barcelona, starting it’s journey around the world shortly after: “Romanian Polaroid Photographers was born on May 2015, as a photographic index dedicated to instant film enthusiasts from Romania and around the world. www.polaroids.ro is a capsule about magic, inspiration and storytelling through the force of some ageless, vibrant images carrying the nostalgia of artistic generations which loved this unforgettable photographic format.”

(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers
(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers

When you’re not a people person, you get to listen more and to have enough time dedicated to observing certain aspects. That’s how I learnt yesterday to test a Polaroid camera’s functionality. Since most of them are very old, they are very cheap. Most people don’t know this little trick: you have to insert an empty film into the camera because that’s where the battery usually is. If the camera sounds just like when you’re taking a photograph, you can be certain that it works just fine.

Before I was born, Instant cameras were in almost every household, the film was a lot more cheaper and easier to get. It’s disappointing that in a plastic-promoting society this tradition was not kept, since most cameras are made of this material. What the hell, humanity, you’re proving me again that you value unlettered puppets over creative evolution! However, I think that Polaroids will soon become a thing because of The Impossible Project and many other people and communities who support this movement.

(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers
(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers

The workshop was held at F64‘s headquarters, which also started promoting instant photography, but it wasn’t only about the types of cameras and films. It was more of an invitation to understand more about the emotion in motion in this type of photography: “The world within a Polaroid photograph is a land of irresistible emotion, a story with a secret and intimate life told in heartwarming colors which we can’t get enough of, because they describe a dreamlike Universe.” said the poetess and prose writer Nora Iuga at the meeting with Romanian Polaroid Photographers, in 2015.

“Emotion In Motion” represents the emotions triggered in the moments of shooting with a Polaroid camera and the mystery of it’s development. Once the photograph was done it must be kept in some specific conditions (close to a heat source), if you want it to be clear with vivid colors. The “filters” you obtain, if I can call them that way, are spontaneous and unique. They are dependent of the camera, the film, the environment and the photographer’s vision. There will never be two identical instant photographs. Each product is distinctive, it freezes in time an unrepeatable memory through a very simple and complex process.

(c) Alexandra Crisbășan
(c) Alexandra Crisbășan

“Emotion In Motion” also means nine romanian artists scattered around the world. All of them will be part of the exhibition in Bucharest: Matei Branea, Anton Roland Laub and Ioana Cristina Casapu (Berlin), Cosmin Bumbuț, Ina Ionescu, Barna Nemethi and Andrei Nico (Bucharest), Horia Brebeneanu (Manchester), Irina Măgurean (Cluj), Sven Van Driessche (Belgium), Andres Aguilar Caro (Spain) and Rachel Frank (USA). They will: “unfold in seven days, the emotion in motion by proposing an introspection within the intimate Universe of the female body, of music photography, of illustrations created over an image or a new point of view regarding Mineriada, all through instant photography.”

Other themes addressed by the exhibitors are: fashion, photojournalism, urban photography, autobiography, portrait, photographic journal, travel photography and the double exposure technique.

(c) Romanian Polaroid Photographers
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Bucharest-based artist. Psychedelic photographer, brain-scratching writer / poetess and priestess of the macabre.

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