ROBERT POLIDORI

“Yes, and camera in Italian means room. Anyway, when I realized the psychological importance of rooms and my commitment to them, I wandered away from cinema. There were other books too, Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space talks about rooms and beehives and a set of drawers, all these receptacle kinds of images, and their metaphorical and psychological undertones.

Besides the obvious sheltering from the extremes of the elements, people make rooms to live in as if they are animated by an unconscious desire to return to a prenatal life, or even before that, to a soul life. This is what they exteriorize in rooms, their internal soul life, or less magically put, their personal values, if you will. The Art of Memory also talked about the Oracle at Delphi. I wrote about this in my Metropolis book. The priestess sat on a tripod above this big hole in a grotto, and the people came to her with written queries that she would read and throw down into the hole. She would then speak words that suggested things to the seekers, words that would only have meaning to them. This has become a standard practice in the quasi-science of psychic readings. So I equated tripods with acquiring psychic truths.”

 

Robert Polidori is one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers of architecture and urban environments. His career began in the mid-1980s after he won permission to document the restoration of the Chateaux de Versailles, a project that has continued for 30 years. He has also photographed Havana, Chernobyl, and New Orleans after the flooding post Hurricane Katrina.

His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum, Berlin, and Instituto Moreira Salles.

Among the numerous public collections including his work are the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria and Albert, London; and Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Réserve des Bustes, Chateau de Versailles, 1985
Chromogenic Print
49 1/2 x 60 inches
Edition 2/10