Stefanie Schneider's impact on Polaroid film
Do you believe in love at first sight? I do - ever since I saw Stefanie Schneider's artwork in a gallery in Hamburg, Germany. Never before have images drawn me in so immediately, affected me so profoundly, nor kept me so relentlessly under their spell. Never before have I sensed such a harmonious, quiet and yet mutually nourishing relationship between an artist and the medium that is an American icon: Polaroid film.
Stefanie has taken Polaroid photography to the highest level of attention and acclaim of any photographer in history, breaking new ground we never thought imaginable. No one before has utilized Polaroid film to such a degree, elevating it into the realm of pure fine art. It’s not an exaggeration to state that meeting Stefanie and seeing her exceptional work has changed my life forever, and was the catalyst that moved me to save Polaroid film when I had thoughts of shutting down production a few years ago. Indeed, she nearly single-handedly saved an industry and a filmic medium. That’s the sort of influence she has in her field.
In the years that followed my fateful decision inspired by the work of Ms. Schneider, Stefanie's stunning works have not only touched our own analog souls; her incredible ongoing worldwide success and growing exposure has also given a very clear signal that the time is now to collect, treasure and inhale the mysterious magic of Polaroid art.
Several weeks after first meeting her work, I had a chance to meet Stefanie in person and discovered that each of her intensive Polaroid images form part of an ambitious and extraordinary master plan - the largest Polaroid art project of all time: a full-length film almost completely made out of Polaroid materials and images called "29 Palms, CA." Immediately upon learning this, we started collecting expired film from all over the planet to support her vision. In return, Stefanie Schneider has allowed us to showcase a very special and lovingly composed collection of limited edition prints of her latest Polaroid shots and personal favorites at Polanoir, our Polaroid Gallery known throughout the world.
Today at Polanoid, now better known as THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT, we continue our fight against the downfall of Polaroid film and the closing of their facilities, hopes of keeping American jobs in addition to keeping viable a truly American-invented film stock like Polaroid, which has touched so many millions of lives throughout the years. We now call Polanoid ‘The Impossible Project' because many said it would be impossible to save Polaroid film. Hearing this, I recalled the words of Edward Land, the inventor of Polaroid film, who said the only projects worth attempting are something that is said to be “impossible.”
Which again brings us back to Ms. Schneider, who inspired me to start this company THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT after seeing her work, which seems to achieve the possible from the impossible, creating the finest of art out of the most basic of mediums and materials. Indeed, after that one day, I was so impressed with her photography that I realized Polaroid film could not be allowed to disappear. Being at the precise moment in time where the world was about to lose Polaroid, I seized the moment and have put all my efforts and passion into saving Polaroid film. For that, I thank Stefanie Schneider almost exclusively, who played a bigger role than anyone in saving this American symbol of photography.
Florian Kapps / founding President of Impossible Inc.
March 8th 2010