The Polaroid Project at MK&G Hamburg

Posted March 7, 2018

March 16 – June 17, 2018: Discover the full breadth of the Polaroid photograph in an exhibition featuring works by a wide variety of artists, including Charles and Ray Eames.

The Polaroid Project explores the  full scope of the Polaroid photograph. Based on some 220 photos by over 100 artists, as well as 90 camera models and prototypes, the show sheds light on the whole aesthetic spectrum of instant photography and on the innovative technology that made this visual revolution possible.

The exhibition includes film stills from the Eames Office, as well as Charles and Ray’s film SX-70, which Polaroid Corporation commissioned them to do in 1972 in order to introduce this new and revolutionary instant-photography camera. The film, which was used as a sales tool, demonstrates several potential uses for the camera and shows how it operates.

Polaroid stands for a technology, an industry, a company, and its products. Presented to the public for the first time in 1947 by Edwin Land in New York, instant camera film made the photo lab superfluous. As if by magic, the picture gradually appears before the eyes of the photographer and subject. Polaroid, a brand that has long since attained legendary status, transformed our handling of photography in a way that is still pervasive today, living on in photo apps and Instagram.

In the heyday of the company, Polaroid sold its cameras and film to millions of amateurs and professionals. The technical and aesthetic qualities of the new medium and, above all, the immediacy and spontaneity of the photos, made it an exciting field of experimentation for artists as well.

Polaroid itself has worked closely with photographers from the start. One of the earliest advisors to Edwin Land, inventor and founder of the Polaroid Corporation, was Ansel Adams, the godfather of American landscape photography. In its Artist Support Program, the company provides film and cameras to both established figures and nascent talents in the art and photography scene. In return, it receives not only feedback on its products but also selected works for the company collection.

Explore this exciting exhibition through June 17, 2018.


The Polaroid Project
March 16 – June 17, 2018

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
20099 Hamburg