Barry Underwood

Scenes

Pigment Prints:  Hahnemühle Baryta 325
Each image is recorded on color negative film using a medium format camera, 4x5, or 8x10 large format camera. The photographs are printed on Hahnemühle Baryta 325 paper in varying sizes, ranging from 28”x28”, through intermediate sizes, up to 40”x50”.  

 

This series of photographic images, titled Scenes, is comprised of long exposure documentations of full-scale installations built on-site in specific landscapes. 

Curiosity about ecological and social history of specific places drives my work. These installations reflect my study of the agricultural, industrial, and recreational land-use of each respective site. I fashion these scenes by immersing myself in and researching a place, instinctively reading the landscape, then altering the site through LED lights, luminescent material, and other physical means of creating photographic effects.  In the final prints, lights and sculptural alterations appear as intrusions into the landscape imagery. The tension between the familiar bucolic setting and the surreal abstract mark gives the images a strange power.

Conceptually, the pieces are situated at the intersection of land art, staged photography, and Minimalist sculpture. Within these genres, the image or photographic document precedes and shapes all direct experiences of the artwork that follow. Each perfectly lit photograph is a kind of fiction. My photographs capitalize on this history, and combine its influences with my early theatrical training as a technical director. Each image is composed for the camera in replicating of the way one would arrange a theatrical stage. The photographs function like the brief instant of quiet just after the curtain has opened and the lights come up. They are the setting for past and future human activity, but in the moment of the image, there is stillness.

Ultimately, the photographic documents of my intrusions reveal the uncanny beauty and mysterious potential within an everyday scene.