Interview: Victor Enrich

Born in Barcelona, Spain, Victor Enrich is an architectural photographer and media artist. With the underlying theme of the city displayed through his work, Enrich recently created a photo series of manipulated buildings in Munich. Enrich always toys with the idea of shape and dimension of buildings and structures throughout his CAD work and photos. We recently caught up with Victor for a Q&A regarding his work and the thought processes behind it.

How has architecture and design changed your way of thinking? Architecture has always been a very important companion in my life. Even though I've never worked as an architect, I've been working for and with architects for several years. Definitely designing a building is such a complex process that above all, needs a clear and structured mind, capable to anticipate eventual problems and get them solved before they show up. However, I also consider this foreseeing attribute sometimes a bit unneeded as, most of our problems are already solved, and, in a world without problems, maybe architects will not be necessary at all. On the other hand, I must admit that these two disciplines have led me to enjoy growing my sensitivity, which is crucial when it's time to be update in this constantly evolving contemporary culture that we're in.

Do you have any new projects in the works? Yes. I tend to work on several projects at the same time. They take important amounts of time so I have to rethink them again and again. This means that some of them need to be sent to the freezer while I resume other ones that were kept frozen for some months. For instance, now I'm working on a project that will use the White House in Washington D.C. For this project I need to make a 3d model of not only the White House itself but everything nearby also because this project is expected to use aerial views. However, I'm not sure yet if this will be my next project but I can't permit myself to start working on it once I'm sure it will be, I just try to work constantly every day and make decisions show up at the most appropriate time.

Stitched Panorama
Stitched Panorama

What motivates you to manipulate the buildings in the ways you do? I think it is a combination of a research about the possibilities of the form and a personal will to do something different, hopefully never seen before. I have a strong commitment with creativity, not only the one of my own, but the one of any one of us, humans, and in extension animals and plants. Creativity is a process that, by re-connecting several corners of our brains, strives to contribute to the common consciousness and intelligence of nature.

Is there anything specific you want the viewer to take away from your work? Not really, at least explicitly. The world is full of messages, inscribed in the form of art pieces, ads, books, tv shows...etc..People so saturated with messages, in particular those that want you to buy something. My goal is to stimulate people's curiosity and critical profile. And in a world with such amount of visual stimuli, there's no other way than trying to impact as much as you can, otherwise, all your work will not reach the surface and thus will be forgot.

Who are your biggest influences when it comes to your work? Since I was a kid I was always very fond of tall and big structures. It really overwhelms me to see how humans can sculpt the horizon; introducing forms that are hundreds or even thousand times larger than we are, and among all these structures, cities acquire an important role, especially for its labyrinthine condition. So, every geometric formation, used to organize the lives of the people within a community of any size is relevant for me, and if there are some skyscrapers or suspension bridges...even better. The first time I got in contact with these elements was through a picture book about geography that my father bought when I was just a little kid.

What was the hardest thing you have faced while shooting? Believe it or not, I suffer from a bit of claustrophobia. Something that I try to fight exposing myself to unusual situations, especially when I go shooting, as a sort of impact therapy. So the hardest experience for me was when I climbed to the top of the first suspension bridge of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, accompanied by the Bridge Police chief, who granted me access, together with some friends of his. To get up there I needed to use a prehistoric elevator of half a square meter that goes up for 150 meters within the metallic structure of one of the pillars...it took 2 minutes to get to the top, no windows and only a creepy sound of the chain pulling up the elevator. Once at the top, just a tiny handrail separated us from the abyss...however, I managed to enjoy the view all over the strait, it was amazing.

What is your favorite building that you have shot, and why? Hard to say. I prefer to say that my favorite building is the one I haven't shot yet. However, to pick an overwhelming spot, I guess that the first prize goes for the Hagia Sofia Mosque in Istanbul that I managed to shoot in the midst of the roofs of the Gran Bazaar. It was like all those books I read and movies I watched about the middle East came back to live. However, the sad thing is that the picture never acquired the specialty of the moment as it had to be shot in few seconds and without instrumental.

To view more of Enrich's work, or to purchase your own print be sure to check out http://shop.victorenrich.com/