Of Landscapes and Worlds

Klaus Weddig's Polascapes


A moment in time is complete. It contains everything and says all there is to say. We call one of our tricks for catching this fleeting moment photography. Photographic images have the ability to distill a certain mood or an atmosphere in one single instant. After more than 150 years, photography is more attractive and beloved as a companion than ever before, and the Polaroid camera has been around as a part of the photographic repertoire for quite some time. Invented in 1947, Polaroid pictures have since become a synonym for a certain photographic approach, both in terms of the photographic style and of the resulting picture.

It is remarkable that despite the technology for image editing we have at our disposal today, the un-photoshopped moment still has so much to offer, and can have such a powerful effect. It is not so much nostalgia, but a very conscious choice photographer Klaus Weddig makes in using this special tool for capturing the pure moment - pure in its un-edited quality of reproduction. The final result is created the very instant the shutter closes. There is no ‘source material’ that needs compositing or finishing – to the contrary, the picture is already in its final state even as it is taken. The same immediacy is true for both the photographer and his unique perspective. The viewers can see clearly which exact detail of which moment of which scene from which specific perspective he wanted to capture.

What we see is landscapes: beaches and cities. And even before we become aware of the frequently elaborate details, we catch on to the mood of the scenery. We can sense the beach, the warmth, the doziness, as we gradually start to notice the typical beach paraphernalia. Looking at the bullfighting arena and the spectators, we immediately soak up the suspense, the exotic and the banality of this type of entertainment. Aside from the motif, it’s the Polaroid picture itself that creates its own landscape in the typical idiosyncratic and random reproduction, even if all we see is a pole with a loudspeaker on it. This is why Polascapes are so much more than landscapes. Each of them is a world in itself, in which there is a lot to be discovered. The photographs challenge us to look closely, both at the pictures and at the world out there. Klaus Weddig certainly does.

Jörg Steinmetz