- Rosalie Doubal
- 30 April 2009
German artist Barbara Probst’s photographic work ‘Exposure #48: Munich, Minerviusstra(e 11, 01.06.07, 3:17pm’, images a double portrait of a model. In the first photograph the girl looks directly into the lens, and in the second her face, carrying the exact expression, is seen from a slightly shifted angle. Its effect is similar to when you look at a face at close range, close each eye alternately and watch the face gently ping-pong from side to side. The work appears to replicate an almost childlike fascination with the processes of seeing. This is achieved through the use of radio-controlled cameras and synchronised cable releases, allowing the artist to photograph the same instant from varying angles and distances. While Probst uses this technique to differing tonal ends, her interest in dismantling notions of photographic ‘document’ is a constant.
Probst also exhibits works that illustrate their own processes. Less successful than the seemingly source-less photographs, these latter groups alienate by way of making clear their machinery: a model is enclosed by a ring of lenses, a group of Gap advert-types get snappy in Central Park and cameras face cameras face cameras. But the artist’s play with forced disruptions to photographic ‘truth’ is a little obvious. The simplest works remain the most interesting, affecting a niggling recognition that cleverly belies their mechanical conception.
Stills, Edinburgh, until Sun 19 Jul