Artist: Adam Baer Title: Untitled #991 Year: 1999 Edition: 10 Medium: Dye Coupler Print Size: 127 x 101.6 cm Misc: Signed, numbered
New York photographic and installation artist Adam Baer creates “aperture-specific” constructions that attempt to visually splinter various atmospheres and reconstruct the shards in a conglomerate which unifies the disparate elements of space and narrative. Baer’s work combines still photography and installation art as a means of both constructing and deconstructing complex tableaux narratives and extraordinary photographic spaces. Baer’s creative process begins with the construction of a large, complex, labor and time-intensive “set” that takes months to complete. Actors are then cast to inhabit the set and play parts in an ambiguous drama. The scene is finally photographed with a large format view camera at which point an illusion of convergence of the various atmospheres occurs. Baer’s work results in large color photographs of bafflingly strange spaces in which laws of gravity are defied, architectural spaces confused, and our experiences of the physical world refuted. Visual cues that normally help us make sense of our surroundings and of art-such as scale, depth, consistent light sources and angle of plane-are distorted to produce deliberately dream-like result. Although Baer’s images exhibit a distinctly surreal look, each print originates from a single negative exposed only once. Thus, the photograph’s oddity derives not from a digital manipulation but from the peculiar combination of set design, the swings and tilts characteristic of the view camera, and the particular choice of aperture. In the age of the digitally altered photograph, Baer’s images are a testament to previsualization and “pure” photography.