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'Magic Trick' At The New York Photo Festival

There's something magical about watching an image develop in your hands. It's also instantly gratifying to have a tangible print just moments after it's taken. These are pleasures afforded almost solely by Polaroids — pleasures on the verge of extinction, unless someone can reinvent the ridiculously complicated, 20-part film packs. (The title of this effort to reinvent Polaroids articulates the likelihood of success.)

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These little square photos inspired Veronique Bourgoin to curate a Polaroid show for this year's New York Photo Festival, currently under way in Brooklyn. "Magic Trick" is presented by L'Atelier Reflexe and Cobertura Photo, two European photography organizations. It features the work of 14 European photographers who use — or used — Polaroid as a way to experiment through a unique and instant medium.

The above series was taken by Finnish photographer Nina Korhonen. It corresponds with her book, My American Grandma, 1993-1999, a portrait of her Swedish emigrant grandmother who, at the age of 80, lives a life of simple pleasures. And her quiet story is rendered magical by the cross processed feel of pocket-sized Polaroids.

The New York Photo Festival runs through Sunday. It's a 5-day international summit where photographers and curators discuss the climate of contemporary photography. There are four main shows assembled by the chief curators, as well as several satellite exhibitions, including "Magic Trick."

Photo by Veronique Bourgoin
Photo by Sophie Carlier

The Picture Show wants to see your magic tricks (i.e., Polaroids). Add them to our Flickr stream and tag them "roids."

By Claire O'Neill

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