Gail Thacker - The Last Polaroids

© GAIL THACKER Gail Thacker













Nov 6 to Dec 13 2008

   The introduction of Polaroid ‘instant’ film in 1948 brought about a significant change in the way photographers approached both their subjects and the physical medium itself. Capable of producing technically perfect images, some artists began to notice and exploit the fact that the process was open to manipulation and subterfuge. One of these pioneering artists was Gail Thacker, who in the 1980’s began to use the inherent instability of Polaroid film as an active component in her portrait and landscape images. By deliberately evading the fixing protocols for her negatives, and placing them aside for as long as a year after exposure, her negatives accumulated a series of changes and distortions that produced prints with a vibrancy and life stemming partly from chance and partly from the internal chemical reality of the image itself.

   Then in early 2008 the Polaroid Corporation announced that it would no longer manufacture its signature self-developing film. Shortly thereafter Gail Thacker received her last case of Type 655 Positive/Negative film. This exhibit, “The Last Polaroids, ” will feature Thacker’s uniquely rich Polaroid prints and “Polaroid positives ” -- some of the last expressions in this unusually creative and rich medium.

   The power of Gail Thacker’s Polaroids of course comes not from the medium but by her vision and choice of subjects. Her portraits often come from the theatrical, gay and transgressive worlds of New York, just as many of her landscape images also evoke a New York that is seemingly at the edges of coherent perception. Carol Schwartzman in ‘Wburg’ writes, “The tensions inherent in Thacker’s subversion of the Polaroid process ... all underscore her interest in unacceptable behavior and in the portrayal of the eccentric, outlaw parts of peoples’ lives.”
Gail Thacker’s work has been widely exhibited and is included in many collections Her work is featured in the recent Taschen publication The Polaroid Book, a survey of the Polaroid Company’s photographic collection. This will be her second one person exhibition at Safe-T-Gallery.

© Gail Thacker
                                                                                                                                      ©Gail Thacker