And my little artist statement about the show:
Many things come to mind when hearing the word “expired”. Death may be first and foremost for some, while others may think of milk. Expiration is inevitable for all things, living or not. Disorder comes from order, and nothing lasts forever. The American Southwest has a particularly unfriendly attitude towards so-called permanence. Extreme temperatures (sometimes low as well as high in a 24 hour period), a baking sun, dry desert winds, insects, animals…you name it, it exists here to tear down all things. As well, the Southwest is an odd mix of old, somewhat old, and the fastest-growing “new” in the country. Humans destroy the old at a rate tenfold what nature can do, and replace it with an often bland newness. Expiration is all around us, in the bare mountains, the dry desert plains, the decay of man-made and natural forms, the sun-baked storefronts with warped wood and peeling paint, the rotting automobile carcasses, and the near empty towns scattered throughout the region.
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.
Still working on the frames and some other stuff, but should be a good time when the time comes.
The show runs from March 17th to April 16th, and the opening is on March 17th from 5pm to 9pm. The gallery is at 14010 N. El Mirage Road, El Mirage, AZ. El Mirage is a community in the northwest Phoenix metro area.
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The building is a nice little community center looking area on the west side of the street. Contact the gallery for visiting hours outside of the opening times.
Be there or be 3 1/4" x 4 1/4"! I'll be the one with a Polaroid camera in my hand.
Soon I plan on talking about the Kowa Super 66, and I also have some TLR action happening. Another trip to Japan in a couple months, as well!