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Marc Dekeister : P O L A R O I D


The Polaroid was a natural choice for the non-photographer that I was, studying in Paris drawing, color, shape … and photography.

I was very interested in photographs as images, but I wanted to draw.

Ideal for me was the ZOOM magazine, and its “graphic arts” section. The n ° 20 contained an article on Steve Hiett, photographer, graphic designer, musician, painter …

me backwards !

My misunderstanding in front of a camera directs me towards the Polaroid. A 600 first, with square images, and from the 80s, a Polaroid Image, in a slightly rectangular format: 7.3 X 8.9 cm.

The magic of the Polaroid system amazes me: for me it is not a camera but a hen that lays an egg.

I slip over twenty years of absolute nullity, but at the age of 40, my efforts are rewarded: I can see in a rectangle, compose, etc.

In 2003, I exhibited at the Lucie Weill & Seligmann gallery, rue Bonaparte, in Paris.

Alain Dominique Perrin (Fondation Cartier; Richemont), for whom I have been drawing for 15 years, buys five polaroids … and advises me not to sell anymore! I have largely followed this advice since.

But one has to live. So ….

Since the year 2000, the Granon Digital laboratory has been expanding my polaroids in a gigantic way: up to two meters. However, it’s a slight blur that makes the beauty of a polaroid. So why multiply this vagueness?

A failed polaroid is useless and we throw it away. Instead of capitulating, I turned to engraving and engravers, who attack a metal plate with acid or soda.

I opened the polaroid image and poured the acid, to disturb the layers of colors and switch the photographic aspect of the polaroid into material. I correct it, scratch it, punish it, by inflicting wounds, striations, erasures.

It is the altered polaroid that is scanned in the laboratory. Enlarge the material: it will always remain clear.

Each color of the polaroid is a skin with a particular geometry and a miraculous design. A wonder made visible by the enlargement.

Why bother so much?

A polaroid crushed in the hand “explodes” in a thousand colored ramifications.

Oxidations draw figures from beyond the grave; mythological creatures.

My goal is not to be a chemist, but to make poetry in pictures.

A pencil ; ink ; a Polaroid camera; an iPhone; a Nikon: I take everything.

What I never imagined by drawing, I got it with the Polaroid.

Marc Dekeister


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