Photographer: Enrique Viera's Reality Bending Polaroids

Enrique Freaza Viera's is a Spanish photographer currently based in Berlin, Germany. Connect with Enrique on his Website.


"According to Quantum Physics, the Universe is quantified in packages of indissoluble units, small bricks that conform our reality. And according to this theory, not only matter, but also time is quantified. Therefore, if we perceive our reality as a function of time, and if this one only exists as a succession of moments, then our reality is made out of instants and instantaneity is the only truth. Polaroids burst the barrier between the photographic act and the photographic piece, turning a moment into something real and tangible. It produces unique, non-reproducible pieces allowing their direct manipulation, to turn the photo into an experience beyond the simply seen and more referred the perceived thing. The limits of this paradoxical combination, the pure realism of the moment and the capacity to manipulate it, is what makes instant photography such a powerful medium." - Enrique Viera


Would you mind telling us about how you came up this project of bending Polaroid realities?  
To say an image consists of many layers sounds very obvious, but I do believe instant photography has one extra layer, which is the physical one. Even more than film in general, Polaroids are objects that you can hold. As a Polaroid photographer once said, when you see a Polaroid you know the photographer, and most likely everyone appearing on it, touched it. They passed it around and looked at it and reacted to it. It's a fetish in the animistic sense of the word. The power of instant photography lays in the delivery of a full object where all layers are crushed together: the subject photographed, the emotional state and associations of the photographer that lead him/her to choose it, the light hitting on it, hitting on the sensitive surface, the chemical layers that conform the image, the emotional state and emotional experiences of the viewer... All together crushed into an entity, that is so true, so real that you're actually holding it. The notion of blending realities came from an attempt to intervene all of those layers at the same time.

I read about the Kuleshov Effect. In his experiment, Kuleshov edited together a short film in which a shot of the expressionless face of an actor was alternated with various other shots (a plate of soup, a girl in a coffin, a woman on a divan). The film was shown to an audience who believed that the expression on the actor's face (always the same) was different each time he appeared, depending on whether he was looking at the plate of soup, the girl in the coffin, or the woman on the divan. The viewer projects him/herself and his/her own feelings on the image. He/She makes half of the work in constructing the image. To reach the viewer, ideally, a Polaroid should be meant not to build an image but a perception.

How do you come up with your image ideas?
Ideas come from everywhere, that is a massive cliché, but actually true. There are things that you want to say, even if you're not aware that you want to say them. And sometimes this themes appear again and again, subconsciously, only in different shapes. Ideas can come from the work of others, from stories, from dreams or from a poster that you see everyday on your way to work. Main thing is that in my case they must come from the outside, if I just look inside me i end up in a loop.