Murray Guy is pleased to present its third solo exhibition of photographs by Barbara Probst. This show will comprise two new multi-paneled works, Exposure #55: Munich, Waisenhausstrasse 65, 01.17.08, 1:55 p.m and Exposure #56: N.Y.C., 428 Broome Street, 06.05.08, 1:42 pm.
Probst works within a structure redolent of conceptual art—she simultaneously exposes multiple photographs of the same scene with a radio-controlled shutter release—but using the techniques of studio photography. Her dispersal of one moment into a series of images becomes a means to address photographic conventions—portraiture, surveillance, commercial photography, cinematography—and the staging of these images in memory and cognition. Oftentimes, the process of looking at her work approaches forensics as the viewer tries to construct a narrative out of a single, tense instant.
Both works in this show unfold as lush interior mise-en-scènes. Probst’s cameras peer through keyholes and doorways, around furniture, framing figures and domestic surfaces in ambiguous arrangements. Yet the simultaneity of Probst’s exposures frustrates any closure: it is impossible to look at one photograph in each series without meeting many others. As in conceptual art, the photographic apparatus itself is made visible. However, Probst frames her cameras and tripods as part of the works’ open narratives; they become not only metaphors for the figures’ means of self-representation, but also ciphers for the viewers, scattered throughout the gallery space.
Barbara Probst was born in 1964 in Munich, Germany and lives and works in New York and Munich. She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, most recently at Domaine de Kerguehennec, Bignan, France, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Her work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the 2006 “New Photography” exhibition. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Stills Gallery, Edinburgh and a midcareer survey at the Kunstverein Oldenburg, Germany. In 2007, Steidl published an extensive monograph of her work, Barbara Probst: Exposures, which is available from the gallery.