Check out my writing in Vita.mn last week, including my feature story on Polaroid show 'Instant Film Forever', the scoop on a Minnesota model who just walked the runways of Milan, store openings and sales, Jaime Carrera's performance in 'Channeling Carol', Kaleena Miller and co. in dance revue 'Elements in Translation', as well as music spotlights on Glitter Ball 3, MPLS.TV Winter Jubilee, MOVITS!, and Kid Koala (print version only). Here are some excerpts below:
Art: Instant karma in 'Instant Film Forever' (via Vita.mn)
Two local photographers hope to revive the golden age of Polaroid.
By Jahna Peloquin
When Polaroid announced in 2008 that it would no longer produce its iconic instant film or cameras, Polaroid fever struck. The new wave of interest has produced a European organization called the Impossible Project, which bought Polaroid's Netherlands factory with plans to "reinvent" the instant film, as well as Polaroid's curious announcement that pop star Lady Gaga would be its new creative director. Now Polaroid -- which apparently had been unaware of the niche demand for its original product -- is in talks with the Impossible Project to partner on the recreation of the film.
Capitalizing on the new interest, Polaroid photographers Nadine Gross and Sam Hoolihan are exhibiting 250 of their originals for the first time, alongside a selection of large scale-prints, this weekend at Gallery 112 in Minneapolis. "We thought with the amount of Polaroids we both have individually we should put on a love-letter show to Polaroid," Gross explains. "Especially now."
Although other Twin Cities photographers have dabbled in the medium, Gross and Hoolihan have specialized in it for nearly 10 years each. "It's kind of a rare thing to do it as much as Nadine and I do, and for as long," Hoolihan says, "at least on a local level." After all, unless you're like Hoolihan -- who stocked up on 50 boxes of the film when Polaroid first made the announcement -- fanatics have to shell out upwards of $50 for a pack of 10 photos on eBay and Amazon.
Gross is in the latter group. "I've been spending way too much money on film," she admits. "It's difficult to keep buying it, but it's sort of like a drug addiction." (When she really needs a fix, she'll call up Hoolihan to float her a pack until she can get her hands on some more.) They're both crossing their fingers that the Impossible Project will begin reproducing the film later this year before stocks of film run out -- or become expired.
Despite their camaraderie, the two self-professed obsessives have known of each other for only about two years. They first met at Visionary Optical, where Gross, an optician by day, fitted Hoolihan for glasses. "We talked about how eyeglasses frame a face," Gross recalls, "and we ended up talking about photography."
Gross' background in painting inspired her to take up her Polaroid camera. After taking photos to get inspiration for her abstract, minimalist paintings, she soon realized her true love was for the photos themselves. And, like many Polaroid lovers, there's also a sentimental value. "My parents documented my childhood in Polaroids, so it's been in me forever," she says.
On the other end of the spectrum, Hoolihan boasts a formal education in the medium and is attending grad school at the University of Minnesota for photography, specializing in 35mm color film. It was when he brought his Polaroid camera to the Snapshot Shanty during the Art Shanty Projects a few years ago, he says, that interest became obsession.
Hoolihan's Snapshot Shanty portraits will be among the images on display at this weekend's "Instant Film Forever" show, alongside Gross' abstract, graphic shots. The presentation of the show itself will hark back to a pre-digital time, as the duo plans to create a series of mix tapes to play on an old-school sound system for Friday's opening reception.
As Gross puts it, "We just don't want anything to feel digital at all. We want to give a tribute to the time when [Polaroid photography] was the most thriving."
Crawl: Minn. model in Milan (via Vita.mn)
Twin Cities-based model Will Defiel, who spent last season as the face of Calvin Klein, hit the runways for Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana last week in Milan during Men's Fashion Week. Due to his classwork obligations at the Carlson School of Management, it was a pretty light schedule for the in-demand Defiel, who's walked in four Fashion Weeks. For the upcoming Fashion Week in New York, Defiel said, "I'm pushing just to be exclusive for Calvin Klein again so I can bypass having to run around to castings while school is in session." The Stillwater native, represented locally by Vision Models, is on track to graduate in May, so expect to see more of Defiel's classic jawline come fall. -Jahna Peloquin
Fashion: My Sister's (second) Closet (via Vita.mn)
St. Paul enjoys a reputation for having the best vintage shops in the Twin Cities, but Minneapolis will soon be privy to one of its best-kept secrets. Longstanding Grand Avenue boutique My Sister's Closet is set to open its second location on Monday in Uptown, bringing its eclectic yet well-tailored selection of women's clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes, hats and handbags. The sisters-owned shop has long been a favorite of vintage collectors and thrifty, designer-conscious shoppers alike. -Jahna Peloquin
Fashion: gh2 half-off sale (via Vita.mn)
Grethen House's little sister store, gh2, is having its biannual half-off sale for two days only this weekend. Scoop up consigned and new designer items from high-end designers (think Prada, Miu Miu and Comme de Garçons) at 50 percent off gh2's already severely discounted prices. The sale is so popular that it's known to have designer label-loving penny pinchers lining up down the block. -Jahna Peloquin
'Channeling Carol' (via Vita.mn)
Brought together by a shared love for Carol Channing, 10 local artists created performance pieces inspired by the fabled musical comedian. A highlight is sure to be "Carolesque!" by Jaime Carrera, who says his cabaret-style piece blends performance art, dance, sound design by DJ E-tones, live singing and "a little razzle dazzle" while skewering themes of feminism and domesticity -- a topic present in both Channing's and Carrera's work. The piece should be full of effusiveness and eccentricity, as well as Carrera's penchant for offending and titillating his audience. Other performers include onetime Carrera collaborator Tyler Jensen and Bryant-Lake Bowl artistic director Kristin Van Loon, plus Jeffry Lusiak, Kristi Ternes, Megan Meyer, Molly Van Avery, Rachel Nelson, Sheridan Zuther, and the Wreck Family. More event details. -Jahna Peloquin
And as always, check out my weekly shopping blogs for l'etoile magazine, the651.com, and Vita.mn.