Hyperallgeric: “Barbara Kasten’s Slippery Analog Photography”

Barbara Kasten, 1985

Inside / Outside: Stages of Light, 1985, still from video documentation of performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, NY. Choreography: Margaret Jenkins; dancers/collaborators: Melissa Rolnick, Mercy Sidbury, Livia Blankman, Ellie Klopp, Bryan Chalfant, and Greg Gibble; costumes and set design: Barbara Kasten; lighting: Sara Linnie Slocum with Barbara Kasten; sound score and design: Bill Fontana. Courtesy of the artists.

Harry Swartz-Turfle of Hyperallergic explores Barbara Kasten’s unusual photography techniques in her retrospective exhibition Stages:

“In her photographs, Kasten uses lines and angles the way an abstract painter might — as ways to build three-dimensional tension on a two-dimensional surface. In the video projection she uses a corner of a large room as the site where it all meets. She uses habits of perception to create something quite unexpected.

The ICA’s retrospective shows an artist who brings focus into the present visual field. The work can look like collage or digital photos because those media naturally allow ruptures and juxtapositions. But Kasten’s dedication to the funhouse geometry of real space surprises and seduces. This has created a conundrum for Kasten’s art getting the recognition it deserves. Her work lives in the boundaries between appearances and structure, which can only be mediated through experience.”

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