Martes, 21 Julio 2009 02:18

Robert Polidori: a remarkable eyewitness

Written by

Being a journalist has always allowed me to look at how we all become part of the world’s collective amnesia; we watch the news about war, natural disasters, violence, genocides, and we just turn the page on the next break-up information, such as Michel Jackson’s decease. We pretty much forget the world’s sad episodes, until we see a movie that reminds us what happened during a special period of time or we meet people like photographer Robert Polidori that wake us up .

 

Canadian photographer, Robert Polidori has an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal that shows fifty-nine large color photos including the Versailles restoration series, Habana (1997-200) , The near-painterly Beirut (1994-1996), Pripyat & Chernobyl (2001) and series of New Orleans (2005-2006), that he produced in the months that followed the dreadful Hurricane Katrina.

Robert Polidori was born in Montreal, to a French Canadian mother and a Corsican father. He moved to New York in 1969, where he worked with the filmmaker Jonas Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives, producing a number of avant-garde films in the early 1970s. In 1980 he received an M.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and subsequently turned his attention to still photography.

Polidori has twice been awarded the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography (1999 and 2002), and won the World Press Award for his coverage of the Getty Museum's construction in 1998. Despite the fact that his New Orleans Series Pictures have been very controversial, I couldn’t avoid being captivated by the force of his images and the way their subliminal messages affect our collective memory.

I had the opportunity to talk with Robert when we both were at the exhibition’s opening at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal (Macm). It was a fantastic encounter. He can remember many events as soon as he stands up in front of his huge photos.

Images have a meaning.

Robert has been living in Paris and New York City since 1987; he is a photographer for magazines such as Vanity Fair. As I was looking at his series, I noticed that he likes challenges, he is always searching, and showing us a reality we can’t deny.

As Macm's director Paulette Gagnon states, “Polidori’s travels take him all over the world. Driven by an insatiable curiosity and nourished by an unquenchable creativity, he revisits sites that are restricted, divested or historically charged, examining them through the lens of a very particular sensibility”. I decided to interview him while we walked around his exhibition. Many questions came to my mind as were looking at his amazing series of Varanasi, Beirut, Pripyat- Chernobyl and New Orleans.

NG. Have you ever been in trouble while you were taking pictures?

Robert Polidori: I was attacked by an adolescent once, when I was on a third-floor balcony in Varanasi, India, a town that worships Shiva. I guess the boy thought that he has never seen a guy like me with a camera and he approached, he searched... I could see in his eyes that he thought that maybe that big machine, (my camera ) was a fusil, and he started to scratching me. I was even with a body escort and my assistant. We were three, but I was very afraid. He was with a bunch of guys, so I couldn’t stop thinking of that politician in Bombay who was in his Porsche, was attacked by monkeys, and died.

Also, one day, I was stopped by the army in Beirut when I was taking a picture on Dumas Street. On my picture you can see the side that belongs to the Muslims, and the Christian’s side. I did not hide, but there was an army camp, closed by and I didn’t know. The soldiers saw me and three of them stood by me and they looked at my Polaroid’s negatives. They stopped me, because I could have seen the door of the army camp. I was arrested during three hours and I was not only interrogated but mistreated. That was on the muslin side…

N.G. What about Chernobyl?

Robert Polidori: I did have a letter authorization permit in Chernobyl.

N.G Pictures are very real… I was very touched when I saw them.

Robert Polidori: Well, There is something interesting that I can tell you now. Before I went to Pripyat, I was half believer, and by the time I left Chernobyl I was completely atheist. I lost all my faith in God because I just realized that we are completely alone.

N.G Why?

Robert Polidori: I can’t say why, because it just happened to be, maybe I am getting old and I am aware of the mortality, and now that I think about it, I can assured you, that I am afraid of death.

N.G. What do you remember of the New Orleans flood disaster?

Robert Polidori: It is just incredible what wind and water force can do. There were thousands of people dead, thousands of homes destroyed…I think of every single picture like a funerary image. And the survivors are living an interrupted life somewhere else.

N.G. I read that you like to shoot pictures in India because there are so many people around. How did you get that big picture of the Jagatganj road in Varanasi… Where were you?

Robert Polidori: I was on the balcony and I just waited for that bus to cross the street. I waited many hours there until the bus showed up… you know, where you point the camera is the question, and the picture you get is the answer to figure it out.

I guess I could spend a whole day asking Polidori questions. Unfortunately there were other journalists waiting for their turn. So, I ended the tour by myself. There is no doubt, my curiosity led me to the most threatening images. I finished looking at the series of the museum restoration in France, the trace of economic and political dictatorship in Cuba and the urban loneliness in New York. What a master of photography! Polidori’s series at the Macm, are extraordinary. You can’t miss that!

 

Editor: Genny Villa

Photos: Robert Polidori
Special Thanks:
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal (Macm).
Danielle Legentil

 

Read 85545 times Last modified on Viernes, 20 Diciembre 2013 23:59

698 comments

  • Comment Link buy CBD Sábado, 01 Agosto 2020 15:16 posted by buy CBD

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. But think of if you
    added some great pictures or videos to give your
    posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with images and
    video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the greatest in its
    niche. Great blog!

  • Comment Link purchase cialis Sábado, 01 Agosto 2020 10:40 posted by purchase cialis

    Xlegrx gntszj casino online games casino slot casino online slots Owtpt

  • Comment Link click this link Miércoles, 29 Julio 2020 10:51 posted by click this link

    whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your articles.

    Keep up the good work! You realize, many persons are looking round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  • Comment Link view our editors post Miércoles, 29 Julio 2020 10:23 posted by view our editors post

    What's up everyone, it's my first go to see at this site,
    and piece of writing is really fruitful in support of me, keep up posting
    these types of articles.

  • Comment Link similar webpage Miércoles, 29 Julio 2020 10:02 posted by similar webpage

    Before breeding a horse, Among the major factors that need to
    be actually evoked is actually the function by which the foal might be actually utilized.
    If it is actually for racing reasons, you'll need to determine
    if each the dam and the prospective sire will possess
    the high qualities and also essential characteristics that are going to make it successful on the monitor.

  • Comment Link learn more Miércoles, 29 Julio 2020 08:37 posted by learn more

    Hello, I enjoy reading all of your post. I like to write a little comment to support you.

  • Comment Link get more info Miércoles, 29 Julio 2020 08:21 posted by get more info

    It's the best time to make some plans for the future and it is
    time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you
    few interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read even more things about it!

  • Comment Link zmgubSor Miércoles, 29 Julio 2020 01:40 posted by zmgubSor

    The band s name both ridicules the normative idea of hypermasculinity and plays down the stigma of not being a potent Nordic Superman at all times as does their song Can t Get It Up, where Murphy laments over how it fucking sucks to not be able to perform, after too many chemicals.Just as fruits enhance the radiance of your skin, they also contribute greatly to long and healthy hair. https://supertadalafil.com/viagra.php - online viagra Common side effects of Viagra and Cialis include dizziness, headache, flushing, upset stomach or indigestion, blurred vision, changes in vision color, flu-like symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose or sore throat , memory problems, muscle or back pain, insomnia, or abnormal ejaculation.Generic viagra india.The worst enemy at this stage is the hasty conclusions.a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer. https://supertadalafil.com/viagra.php - viagra no prescription If you are a healthy, young adult, elimination of DXM should be much quicker than that of an elderly individual.Or worry at the lack, according to one expert panel and review.To learn the practical side of the action of the generic you will help the feedback of buyers and doctors, which can be seen on this page. https://supertadalafil.com/viagra.php - viagra sale The occasional let-down, though, is usually different from having erection difficulties most of the time.Hey, Jenny.Depending on the weight, blood flow rate and lymph flow, blood pressure, psychological state at the time of admission, the Pill Boss begins to act after 15-30 minutes. ed pills online Sildenafil suppresses the enzyme cAMF-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 of PDE5.At this time, the Ural mountain structure was almost completely eroded. [url=https://supertadalafil.com/cialis.php ]canadian online pharmacy cialis[/url] In any case, do not exceed the maximum dosage of 100 mg and drink more than 1 tablet in 24 hours.It takes just a few minutes to schedule.Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.The fame of the miraculous properties of blue pills began to spread rapidly outside the country. cialis generic cialis tadalafil FDA No, You Can t Sell Vape Juice Spiked with Viagra.April 2020 2 March 2020 7 February 2020 7 January 2020 9 December 2019 8 November 2019 3 October 2019 4 September 2019 4 August 2019 5 July 2019 7 June 2019 4 May 2019 7 April 2019 4 March 2019 7 February 2019 5 January 2019 3.Xuanyuan Lie immediately took the lead and was laughed at What about the family being insulted What he wants is to step on Xuan Xiongxiong. https://supertadalafil.com/cialis.php - cialis generic name Licensed physicians handle every online visit.When You Spill Viagra In Retirement Home s Water Tank.About Roman. https://supertadalafil.com/canadian-pharmacy.php - canadian pharmacies

  • Comment Link item313857454/l891 Martes, 28 Julio 2020 19:05 posted by item313857454/l891

    I know this web page presents quality depending content and additional
    data, is there any other web site which gives such stuff in quality?

  • Comment Link click here Martes, 28 Julio 2020 18:22 posted by click here

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog.
    He was entirely right. This submit truly made my day.
    You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

Leave a comment