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Barbara Probst, 2011

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Murray Guy is very pleased to announce our fourth solo exhibition with Barbara Probst, featuring a wide variety of recent works. Please join us for an opening reception with the artist on Thursday, 15 September, from 6 to 8pm.

Deploying a singular but highly elastic structure, Probst sets up multiple cameras and uses a radiocontrolled shutter release to expose several photographs of the same scene at once. The multiple photographs that result from each “exposure” appear to the viewer as both simultaneous and sequential; they trace prismatic, seemingly incongruous scenarios in which viewing depends on disentangling activities of looking and being looked at.

While mobilizing a dizzying array of ways of seeing and technologies of image-making (surveillance video feed, advertising billboard, paparazzi, landscape photograph, fashion shoot, tourist snapshot, real estate advertisement, celebrity pinup, stock photograph, digital collage, cinematic dream sequence, to name a few), Probst’s recent works could be said to unfold around either the “studio” or the “street,” sites that represent varying degrees of control and contingency within the image. Her studio works often deploy printed backdrops, which act like physical analogues for the “cut and paste” commands of the computer, confounding the surface of the photograph with the depth of its subject and making it increasingly difficult to separate human and technological apparatus. In the “street” photographs, Probst draws a similar reversal of figure and ground out of the contemporary, imagesaturated city. Her multi-part works evoke the experience of walking into a television shoot on the streets of New York and wondering whether one is a spectator or a subject, “the sense of spectacularization and mediatization that has come to infuse almost any location in Manhattan,” as Lynne Cooke aptly writes.

Barbara Probst was born in 1964 in Munich, Germany and lives and works in New York and Munich. Recent exhibitions include 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, organized by the Tate Modern, London, and traveling to 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 recent solo exhibitions at Oldenburg Kunstverein, Oldenburg, Germany; Stills Gallery Edinburgh, Scotland; the Domaine de Kerguehennec, Bignan, France; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.