An Unbroken Stream of Aristotelian Shock: An Interview with Alberto Polo Iañez

Written & Curated by Lilly Ball

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To be articulate is to be lucid and meaningful. A picture must be painted—an impression forged—to see what they see. In most cases, words fail. How do you describe loneliness to a child? Working on intuition and a superb articulation through imagery, Alberto Polo Iañez’s photographs help bring to light some of these indescribable human conditions. Alone in a dark wood, silhouetted against a weatherless void. Iañez’s work seems to capture something deeper than an image—an emotion, perhaps, or an amalgamation of emotion. It’s the feeling of being helpless, conflicted, or the subtly hair-raising sensation of being watched.

What are your tools for creating?
My inseparable Contax G1, my Polaroid Sx70 as well, expired film rolls, a good scanner, wine, traveling (even the smallest trip), an open and cleared mind, last “Burzum” records and any Ulrich Seidl films.

Your subjects regularly find themselves near or engulfed in water. What role does water play in your work?
I suppose that being a native from an island really helps [laughs]. I spent 22 years in Mallorca surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, and although right now I’m far from it, I feel deeply in touch with that place and memories. These Mediterranean roots have a big influence in my work.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Lately I’ve been taking advantage of my changing mood, but I believe that inspiration can be found everywhere at anytime.

Your double exposures appear to meld the surrounding environment with the subject. What draws you to use this seemingly magical technique?
It’s hard to mix two different pictures between, and at the same time, being capable to express. This synergism attracts me in a profound way; new and powerful images can emerge from the most unalike frames.

Who are your subjects?
People of my surroundings, most of the times. Human beings that inspired me and equally give me an atmosphere of trust to work with them.

Ideas of sexuality are explored in your work, especially in women. Along with sexuality, what other ideas do you explore through photography?
Giving an answer to this question would be like solving a mathematics problem [laughs]. I felt reluctant to talk about ideas or other issues in my head at the time of creation. I just desire and expect that people notice these concepts through my work.

Who should we interview next?
I would say, Eduard Bagur. He is a great artist and friend. A deeply personal work, he is a very independent person (something that we share besides being from the same island). I’m pretty sure that his interview would be smarter and funnier than mine.

What are you going to do after this interview?
Having a good glass of wine and thinking about the silly things I told you [laughs].

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Alberto Polo Iañez is a photographer and filmmaker from Palma de Mallorca, Spain. You can view more of his work at www.albertopoloianez.com and follow him on Instagram at @alvertigo.


About

Lilly Ball joined FORTH Magazine as Art Director/Brand Manager in the Fall of 2014. She is interested in writing, people, and the forest. lilly@forthmagazine.com.


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