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Issue No. 16 - Chaos

Barbara Probst at Murray Guy

Image above: © BARBARA PROBST, Exposure #114: N.Y.C., 368 Broadway, 02.05.15, 12:13 p.m., 2015, / Image courtesy of Murray Guy, New York. 

For her latest exhibition at Murray Guy, Barbara Probst presents three contemplative works that further develop the method she uses to make her multi-part Exposures.  Probst sets up multiple  cameras and uses a radio-controlled shutter release in order to capture a single moment. In each of the new works, a central narrative is present but elusive and the purposeful actions in her earlier works give way to the introspection of a distracted camera. Not all of the cameras share the same interest and the images reveal an autonomous gaze.

In Exposure #115  and Exposure #116  some of the cameras are fixed on an interior space: a sleeping woman, cocooned by the city around her, a draped shawl, a figure gazing out onto the world, her lips gently parted as though she were about to speak out. Others aim towards the city rooftops, a looming tower under construction, and steam rising into a gray sky.

#116Image above: © BARBARA PROBST, Exposure #116: N.Y.C., 428 Broome Street, 04.10.15, 1:11 p.m., 2015, / Image courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York. 

Observation takes on a new meaning as the pensive lens reveals a subjectivity, while seemingly pointed in no particular direction. In the impressive twelve-part Exposure #114, the focus is not solely on a seated model, but also the assemblage of photographic equipment and a green bottle atop a table. The stark angularity of tripods and synchronizing devices, the soft curves of the model’s body, and the gentle reflections in the green glass, are glimpses of a moment that asks to be stitched back together. All of the elements take on a fractured but cohesive personality and the viewer is called upon to imagine the connections and fill in the gaps. In fact, the viewer’s experience is even more essential to these new works as it occupies the same space as the subjective camera. As in film, the camera shows us a distinct point of view through which we try to understand a multifaceted scene.

#115Image above: © BARBARA PROBST, Exposure #115: N.Y.C., 428 Broome Street, 04.10.15, 12:31 p.m., 2015, / Image courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York. 

Barbara Probst was born in 1964 in Munich, Germany and lives and works in New York and Munich. Recent shows include a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen that travelled to the Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague and the Centre PasquArt, Biel. Recent group exhibitions include Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition , Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Eyes on the Street , Cincinnati Art Museum, (Mis)Understanding Photography: Works and Manifestos , Museum Folkwang, Essen, Per Speculum Me Video  at Frankfurter Kunstverein, Lost Places. Sites of Photography  at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Mixed Use Manhattan: Photography and Related Practices, 1970s to the Present , curated by Lynne Cooke and Douglas Crimp at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Elles  at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera , at the Tate Modern, London, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Probst was featured in the 2006 New Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and has had solo exhibitions at Oldenburg Kunstverein; Stills Gallery Edinburgh, Scotland; Domaine de Kerguehennec, Bignan; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

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