The artists in 1983
Photo by Billy Albert
In our project, INSTANT CLASSIC, we’ve been sleuthing and acquiring anonymous Polaroids circa 1960-2000. Discarded photo albums, shoeboxes packed with forgotten snapshots; images lost beneath decades of clutter. Years ago, our subjects showed up for a Christmas party, a romantic encounter, 10th grade geometry. Responding to cues from what we perceive in these Polaroids, we add poignant and humorous phrases from our personal journals and recent conversations – inner thoughts we imagine the individuals and their observers may be thinking and feeling.
Friends from childhood, we grew up a block apart from each other – simultaneously following and deciphering the codes of preppy suburbia. Irony and sarcasm were our preferred secret language – this is how we buffered our tender, emerging identities against what we perceived as the winds of deadly conformity. Looking in the rear view mirror in our 50s, we aim to give an empathic and humorous voice to our subjects, just as we wished someone in the outside world would have validated us.
For Gen X kids, the Polaroid SX-70 was a magical device, producing an on-the-spot tangible photo which recorded a heartbeat of time. With the push of a red button and a synchronous buzz, the moment became evidence. In today’s digital universe, we remain transfixed by the Polaroid camera’s clever design and the vibrant memory-object it leaves behind.
ABOUT LIZ AND Shane
LIZ ALBERT is a lens-based artist, educator and zealous idea sparker. She has exhibited her work in group shows as well as in multiple print and online publications in the US and abroad. She had her first solo exhibition of her series, Family Fictions at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA and recently showed her work at the Revela’T Contemporary Analog Photography Festival in Spain, Fall of 2020. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Website: https://www.lizalbert.com
SHANE VANOOSTERHOUT is a creative entrepreneur, designer and plant whiz. He works as an adjunct digital media professor at Kendall College of Art & Design and is a coordinator with the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation where he dons many hats ranging from mentoring; landscape design and horticulture expertise. He resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
ABOUT US: Liz and Shane became friends when they both performed in the 1977 Civic Theatre production of Pinocchio. From that fateful experience came a life-long bond as they shambled through High School and their own colorful family dynamics. After graduation they both attended art school at University of Michigan and have pursued careers in the arts and education.
OUTDOOR PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION
Instant Classic, ArtPrize, Bostwick Commons, Grand Rapids, MI
Language, LoosenArt, Rome, Italy;
Five Years of Initiative, Aspect Initiative
Maake Magazine, Issue 12
Adreanna Donahue, Interview with Liz Albert and Shane VanOosterhout, curated By Elena Gross, Director Of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs at Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
Photo Trouvée Magazine Issue 4 https://www.phototrouveemagazine.com/store/p6/Photo_Trouvée_Magazine_Issue_4.html#/
Design:Text class, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, MI;
Artist Mastermind with Anna Donnahue