L’emprise du temps
The work of Laura Letinsky (b. 1962) sends us back in time. Shooting with Polaroid Type 55 film – the famous instant-development process that creates a single image – Letinsky photographs fruit, flowers, food, cutlery, and other everyday objects. Those familiar with the Canadian artist’s work will recognize her still lifes, a genre in which she has stood out since the 1990s. Like many photographers working prior to the digital age, Letinsky used a Polaroid for tests. But just as she was about the throw away these test images, she became intrigued by how they had deteriorated. The material had changed in unexpected ways and offered a lesson on the vulnerability of life. Digital technology has made much of contemporary photography immaterial and, in many ways, sharp and bright – there is something gripping, therefore, about Letinsky’s Polaroids, degraded as they are by the development process, chance, and the passage of time. They have an air of mystery, of strangeness: a metaphor for life itself.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book in English from Radius Books. The artist is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York.