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  • Camera Ready: The Polaroid 20×24 Project

    Camera Ready; The Polaroid 20x24 Project is a documentary film in progress by Director John Reuter and Director of Photography Nafis Azad. The film chronicles the origins of the Polaroid 20x24 Studio in 1976 and the development of the Artist Support Program in the late 1970s and 80s. Artists such as William Wegman, Elsa Dorfman, and Neal Slavin discuss their involvement and the projects they undertook. Polaroid employees including Sam Yanes, John McCann and JoAnn Verburg detail what it was like inside the company to create and support the project. Writers A.D. Coleman and Marvin Heiferman provide a critical perspective. Scheduled for completion in mid to late 2018 the filmmakers are actively conducting interviews and gathering images and documents. Follow the progress here at the Camera Ready blog.

December 20, 2014

John Reuter and Nafis Azad travelled east from Western Massachusetts to the studio of Joel Janowitz.  JoAnn Verburg was in town and the crew took advantage of her visit to interview both artists.  JoAnn, with Sam Yanes and John McCann of Polaroid started the 20×24 Artist’s Program in 1978.  This program brought artists such as Chuck Close, William Wegman, Jan Groover, Andy Warhol and many others in to use the then brand new camera.  Joel was invited to participate in the project “Focusing On Faces”  with Jim Dine and Chuck Close at the Hayden Gallery at MIT.

JoAnn described how she came to work for Polaroid after working on the Rephotographic Survey project with Mark Klett.  This project utilized Polaroid 4×5 T55 Film to “rephotograph” the 19th Century sites that William Henry Jackson and Timothy Sullivan documented.  JoAnn spoke of the challenges of setting up the program, working with artists and the discoveries both she and the artists made as they learned this new medium.  Joel describes his reaction at being invited to use the camera and his approach to the medium as a painter.

John Reuter, JoAnn Verburg and Joel Janowitz

John Reuter, JoAnn Verburg and Joel Janowitz