The plantation Collective 1   

BJARNE BARE

Interview by Joanna Cresswell

sculptural photography

 

Tell us about your process. What reference or influence (if any) do you take from other mediums?  I am highly influenced by painting, as I started out as a painter before I turned over to the dark side. During my years at the Academy of Fine Art in Oslo, I studied under Dag Erik Elgin, the professor in painting, and took part in the exhibition titled MoDERNISM MACHINE at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter which evolved around the museum's collection of modernist art', and especially painting. Albeit more visible in some works than others, I believe all my photographs are informed by painting. In addition, I am a color photographer. My works in Hose Variations, Grapnel Grapple, 94 Pictures as Black Square and Outboard Swaddle are all linked to painting in my eyes.

Are these pictures concerned with exploring formal and aesthetical interests – studies of form, colour, movement, how things work together, or are they representational, metaphorical?  What is the weight that holds these pictures together? My last series, Outboard Swaddle, and the one before that, Grapnel Grapple, are both formal studies of photography, and the relation to object and space within the flat surface of the image. I have been concerned with the process of abstraction when photographing, and especially the study of how objects turn out when photographed. Though, I believe they can be both aesthetical, representational, metaphorical and formal simultaneously, and believe photography holds a special strength over other mediums in this manner.

Are you a photographer or an artist using photography? My business card says photographer while my diploma says visual artist. I don’t worry too much about labels.

Does your work reflect on the medium of photography or the photographic image?  If so, is that intentional? Most works I find interesting somehow relate back to their own medium, questioning its abilities etc. so I like to think that my work strives for the same ideal. Photography is a stressed contemporary medium, so I believe it is an interesting one to stretch and question.

 Typically, are your works more about construction or deconstruction? I usually find objects in the streets, and photograph them untouched. Although I am a big fan of constructed realities in photographs, a documentary approach works more for me as I see a lot of paradoxes in human behavior and like to approach these issues as a voyeur.

 Are you interested in the notion of your pictures as objects? Do you think about how their physicality may endure as you are photographing them or is that an afterthought? The way photographs can activate a room interests me, and I guess photographs work as objects in this sense. This is a thought I work with in the last sense of the process though, when printing and installing work. In the process of creation, I think of the objects I see in the frame, and how these will look when flattened in a photographic surface.

Often sculptural photographic works are concerned with elevating banal objects, situations or events to a status of ‘art’ – when does something become art for you? My first book contained nothing more than garden hoses. Though, I don’t believe they are elevated in to the status of art, as art is a part of life in itself. Through the process and mind of art, the objects depicted become art through reflection – banal or not.

www.barebjarne.no

Titles from top:

Outboard Swaddle #1 - c-print 175 x 125 cm - ed of 5+2

Outboard Swaddle #2 - c-print 175 x 125 cm - ed of 5+2

Outboard Swaddle #7 - c-print 175 x 125 cm - ed of 5+2

Outboard Swaddle #9 - c-print 175 x 125 cm - ed of 5+2

Outboard Swaddle #8 - c-print 175 x 125 cm - ed of 5+2

Outboard Swaddle #4 - c-print 175 x 125 cm - ed of 5+2

Outboard Swaddle #5 - c-print 175x125 cm - ed of 5+2