Working with the last of her expired Polaroid Time-Zero film, Tina Weitz captures images from her surroundings today that conjure her vanishing past. The film on hand ceased manufacture in 2006 and Weitz uses vintage SX-70 cameras. The resulting images fight to the surface with failing chemistry, reminding us our present becomes past in the time it takes to press a shutter.
Denied the bounty of digital, the images must be composed deliberately. Each angle and subject are chosen carefully, documenting the slope of an egg shaped camper, or the ideal framing for her grandmother Cora’s glasses (lovingly placed against her once ever present fresh handkerchief).
The images are not printed and presented in the usual small scale Polaroid frame but rather scanned, enlarged and printed on Hahnemühle Baryta Paper. They retain their nearly square format but the increased size encourages additional inquiry. By utilizing a variety of components old and new in a series that elicits the past, the artist questions our aesthetic assumptions of authenticity. Just as we cannot trust our own memory to be an accurate recording of what occurs, we cannot trust the seductive, soft light of a vintage wash to indicate something truly old.
Although considerations of media are part of the work’s narrative, more compelling is the way the artist connects her own background with the contemporary memories she creates. In Weitz’s youth, there was none of the stability of physical place, which many of us consider the key component of home. She was raised an itinerant child, living in 4 different family units, attending 9 schools in 12 years. Her travels were world wide, mandated by her father’s employ in the armed forces. What was new and old shifted with a velocity most do not encounter. The artist experienced an acceleration of present fading to murky memory. Her resultant sensitivity to our immediate moment acutely teetering on the edge of expiration is unveiled in these fading photographs.
images from expired time-zero film captured with vintage SX70 cameras
Pigment Print on Hahnemühle Baryta Paper
Image 28″ x 28″ Image on 32″ x 32″ Paper, 2/AP Print Edition of 12
Image 20″ x 20″ Image on 24″ x 24″ Paper, 2 A/P Print Edition of 24
Image 12″ x 12″ Image on 14″ x 14″ Paper, 2/A/P Print Edition of 24