Artist: Barbara Probst
Venue: Murray Guy, New York
Date: November 9 – December 21, 2013
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Murray Guy, New York
In a presentation of works ranging from 2011 to 2013, Probst continues to develop a meta-narrative that captures the complexities of viewing. In Exposure #106, one of her more recent and ambitious works, a simple reach for an apple is dramatized by a sequence of simultaneously occurring actions. The scene of a taxi driving through a crosswalk is a point of focus, as is the other side of that apple, half eaten, corralled by cookie crumbs, teetering clumsily on the edge of the table. Probst uses a radio-controlled shutter release and up to thirteen cameras at one time to reveal the kaleidoscopic nature of any given moment. While orchestrated with tremendous precision, the Exposures retain a candid quality through their attention to the details that are hidden just beyond the line of sight. The way in which the body is abstracted, with close-ups of truncated hands in motion or miniaturized figures in the composition, is comparative to the way in which the viewer must move physically from one image to the next in order to see each Exposure in its entirety. Each work presents a singular moment concurrently relying on its temporal and spatial relation to a viewer in order to do so.
“In the search for meaning, the viewer incessantly meets dead ends: a portrait is not really a portrait just as a narrative is not really a narrative. It seems that there simply isn’t enough meaning inside the individual images to construct a definitive truth about what is being photographically represented. In this way, Barbara Probst’s ‘Exposures’ reflect the way we experience the world: through endless rows of disparate fragments, each carrying potential significance and meaning but not realized, in full, until we build connections between them. And sometimes, when we can’t make sense of the world, we continue looking for significant details in the spaces between fragments – just as it sometimes seems that the meaning in Barbara Probst’s works lies in the spaces between the images. The works deconstruct the way we are used to understanding photography – or at least the way we are used to understanding reality through photographs. Probst forcefully deconstructs the notion of photographic truth, not by specifically questioning that photographic truth but merely by pointing out its necessary incompleteness. The photograph may tell the truth or it may deceive us. But just as in all representation it will never tell the whole truth.”
– Jens Erdman Rasmussen, Sculpting in Time, from Barbara Probst, Hatje Cantz, 2013