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Robert Polidori Biography

Robert Polidori is a Canadian photographer known for his work documenting architectural spaces and their surrounding environments. Born on February 10, 1951 in Montreal, Canada, his family moved to New York in the late 1960s where he became an assistant to the filmmaker Jonas Mekas at the Anthology Film Archives, who organized Polidori’s first solo exhibition. While living in Paris in the early 1980s, he began documenting the restoration of Versailles, capturing the palace in a rare moment of disarray and emptiness. He has since photographed the interiors of buildings in the aftermath of disasters or under the siege of poverty, such as the inside of a Chernobyl school and the facades of shantytowns—what he calls “dendritic cities”—on the outskirts of places such as Mumbai, Rio, and Amman. Polidori’s photographs of the aftermath of destruction from Hurricane Katrina was the subject of a major retrospective the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 2006, and in 2012 the photographer held a joint exhibition with his mentor Jonas Mekas at Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York.

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