Coco Capitán Sets Sail To Unveil the New Polaroid I-2 Camera
“I don’t take photographs with the intention of them becoming art, my intention is to observe what is in front of me.” — Coco Capitán
Spanish-born, London-based artist Coco Capitán has teamed up with Polaroid to launch its new offering, the Polaroid I-2 Camera. Capitán’s distinctive style and multi-medium artistry has caught the eye of collaborators such as Gucci, Miu Miu, Burberry, Camper and more. Now, she sets sail, unveiling Polaroid’s sharpest-ever lens, built for storytellers embarking on their greatest adventures.
The newest product in the Polaroid range comes packed with features to help photographers and hobbyists alike to master their craft. The continuous autofocus three-lens system boasts reliable accuracy at a spectrum of distances and lighting conditions with built-in manual controls. It is bluetooth and app-enabled arriving with a variety of shooting modes including auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, self-timer and multi-exposure.
Polaroid complimented the launch of the I-2 with a campaign dubbed “Imprefetionists” which celebrates the art of photography as beautifully unpredictable. Alongside Capitán, the team invited photographers Kotori Kawashima and Max Siedentopf to be the first to try its latest launch.
In an exclusive interview with Hypebae, Capitán shares her vision for capturing the world around her and her journey with the new I-2.
When did you take up photography?
The first time I used a camera I was around seven years old. I liked taking pictures of my mother and sister and I simply imagined creating the perfect family album. By then, I had already been collecting photos from magazines, old books and newspapers. I loved archiving photos and making up my own classifications and notes. Back then, it had never occurred to me that I could take pictures like the ones that were in my collections. I loved the mechanics of photography and the excitement of collecting my snaps from the photo-lab. It took years for me to consider photography as a serious practice, for most of my childhood and teenage years it was just a game.
Do you remember the first picture you took and felt “this is art”?
I don’t think there was ever such a moment. Photography is a tool I use to look at reality and understand it better. If my photographs become art, it’s always an after thought. I don’t take photographs with the intention of them becoming art, my intention is just to observe what’s in front of me.
What has been inspiring or surprising you recently?
I like going on long walks and looking around. I spent a big portion of my summer holidays walking around Manhattan, just quietly observing people. I wouldn’t call it particularly surprising, but definitely inspiring.
How do you think our current version of the internet impacts your relationship with art?
It’s a love-hate relationship. I love being connected to the work of other creatives, but I don’t enjoy how time consuming it is. I’ve become very careful about my time in some ways and I don’t allow myself to spend hours on end surfing the web or scrolling for content.
What purpose does storytelling take in each one of your mediums? Are they they cut from the same cloth?
My work is very narrative based and I believe you can use lots of different media to create a message. I like to challenge myself and try new things everyday; that’s why I switch from painting to photography, writing, installation or any other media that is there for me to try. I’m not interested in achieving perfection in one field, I’m often more focused on communicating a story. This constant search for new and exciting tools keeps my brain fresh and, I would hope, my work, too.
What does originality mean to you in a world inundated with “image noise” and constant clutter on our screens?
I’m not looking as much for originality as I am looking for authenticity and a personal point of view. I am not looking for the most exciting and original photograph ever taken. We have seen so many photographs, that even the most shocking picture may seem to us incredibly boring. Strangely, within this clutter, it’s still very obvious to me when a photograph is taken by someone with a defined point of view and genuine curiosity about a subject. Photography is storytelling, stories may be quite similar to each other, but you can tell them in many different ways. A written story is not better for the number of adjectives it contains nor because of how shockingly different the content is from other stories told before. It is all about the author and their capacity to make us feel connected. It’s the same with photography, it’s about using the right tools to convey a feeling or a message. The ones that speak to me still manage to do so even within the clutter and excess of images.
Talk us through your Polaroid collaboration, how did it come to be and where did the idea for the scenery come from?
I have been working for a long time in themes of sailing, sailors and the sea with my on-going series Naïvy. Polaroid liked the fact that I wasn’t looking for perfection within this body of work, but a reflection of life, processes of living and creating. Because of the nature of Polaroid— each photograph being unique and unreproducible, and the chemistry of the development process giving slightly different results each time, we thought the Naïvy universe was the right context to try the new camera and give life to this collaboration.
Can you tel us about the I-2 and what it was like shooting on it?
For the first time, I have been able to really have control of my settings while shooting with a Polaroid camera. However, the element of the unexpected was still very present because of the development process.
At this moment in time, what advice would you give to a young person just getting their footing in the photography industry?
Be honest to yourself and be honest with your photography. Focus on subjects that really interest you and look around with a curious eye. You wouldn’t like to say something you don’t mean. Photography is a strong communication tool capable of speaking on your behalf, make sure your photographs are saying what you mean.