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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Exposure #105: Munich, Waisenhausstrasse 65, 02.20.13, 4:01 pm
Date: 2013
Medium: Ultrachrome ink on cotton paper
Edition 1/5
Dimensions: Sheet (each of three): 18 1/2 × 28 inches (47 × 71.1 cm); Frame (each of three): 19 1/2 × 28 3/4 inches (49.5 × 73 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the Jennifer, Gale, and Ira Drukier Fund
Object Number: 2014.004 a-c
Label Text: This triptych is from Barbara Probst’s long-term project Exposures, which she has been working on for the past fourteen years. The title refers to the time and place the photographs were taken. Probst works with multiple images of a single scene, taken at the same time from different angles using several synchronized analogue cameras whose shutters are triggered simultaneously by a radio-controlled release system. Trained as a sculptor to look at models and objects in the round, Probst also seeks to locate her photographic work in an act of multi-directional viewing. The problematic relationship between photography and reality was also an important starting point for Probst’s work. “A photograph is always somewhere between reality and fiction,” she has said, “between staged and documentary. More or less close to the one or the other, but never the one or the other.”

By making the photographic equipment part of the image (note the tripod’s leg in the cupboard’s window) Probst emphasizes the act of photographing itself, making her work more about the condition of photographic images than about what they represent. The artist’s treatment of time is also integral to her process. In juxtaposing black-and-white shots with color images to record the same scene, the “vintage” feel of the black-and-white collides with the more contemporary look of the color, underlining the subjective nature of how time is experienced.

At first glance Probst’s work seems cinematic in its similarity to film making techniques such as shot-and-reverse-shot by which a narrative develops chronologically in time. In her multi-panel pieces, however, the different points-of-view are visible at the same time, not only flattening out the narrative arc of cinema but also questioning the idea of the “decisive moment” in photography. ("Staged, Performed, Manipulated," curated by Andrea Inselmann and presented at the Johnson Museum January 24 - June 7, 2015)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.