Photography Stephen Poliakoff's 'Shooting The Past' was a classic piece of televsion drama about a photography archive under threat from being broken up, the linkages throughout the collection lost. Now the story is being played out for real in the Polaroid archive, a collection of pictures documenting six decades of America's social and artistic history. The parallels are surreal: "So far, its photo collection has been untouched in the corporate foraging through Polaroid's $1.8 billion in assets, and even insiders say it's almost impossible to predict when the pictures might be sold, or to whom, or for how much. Although many curators and collectors agree that the collection is worth millions, there's no estimated value on record, nor even a precise count of how many images Polaroid has—the interns who were doing an inventory have been let go to cut costs." I imagine there's even a Timothy Spall-type ferriting about trying to save everything he can.
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2002