Sunday, November 7, 2010

11.08.10 : Artist Entry : Richard Barnes

Throughout the 1990s Barnes worked as the photographer for the joint Yale/University of Pennsylvania excavations at Abydos, Egypt. This experience led him to consider the ways in which we think about and depict the past. Using architecture and the artifacts of excavation, he considers the interaction of past cultures and the way in which they are preserved and interpreted in the present.

The photographs from Animal Logic explore the installation and preservation of animals and fossils at natural history museums. These images examine the historical and scientific indexing of species throughout the ages, simultaneously drawing attention to the way in which they are viewed and understood.

“A curator, writing about my work, described the archaeological process as akin to the autopsy, in that it is simultaneously revealing and destructive of its object of study. I like the idea in my work of coming from a place that is both ambiguous and contradictory at the same time.” – Richard Barnes

"Referencing science, history, archaeology, and anthropology, Barnes’ work offers a reminder that there is nothing inherently “natural” about going to a museum to see animals. In his photos, a plastic-wrapped giraffe is suspended in midair against the trompe l’oeil backdrop of a savannah, a pack of stuffed wolves lunges at a museum preparer inspecting blades of grass, and other creatures (leopards, emus, and bears) hang out in packing crates." - Kelsey Keith

I enjoy Barnes work because he documents animals that are confines and restricts in a different manner then I do in my work. While these animals are not real, they are restrained in some manner and that is were my project is beginning to lean. I like his documentation styles between the actual crates the animal models are shipped in and the placement of them into the museum.

Richard Barnes
Interview 1
Interview 2

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