Ami Barnes

I have always considered myself to be a self-portrait artist but my recent work, whilst still falling more or less within the definition of self-portraiture has increasingly involved working with others as observers, as creators and as collaborators. If I were to identify a single theme running through my work from the past few years it would be the aim to define self, (my self, embodied and internal, psychological), in relation to and as shaped or perceived by other, external selves. As such it has seemed logical to me to move from working on my own towards a more collaborative approach. Also ever present is the importance I place on the process, although I do frequently photograph with no specific intention, it is my more methodical and process or performance-driven pieces that I feel are more successful.


This is the result of collaborative interactions with individuals I encountered whilst attending a workshop in Marseille. I asked each person what their ideal first date was, and together we set up and lived through the date they had suggested. The process was photographed throughout with both of us working to create a photographic record of our meeting, using a remote to share control of the shutter. As a result it is frequently uncertain as to who has control at any one moment, blurring the line between photographer and model, artist and art. Equally ambiguous is line between the real and the false; the interactions are on one level performed for the camera, (and indeed, only exist to be photographed), but they also become part of both my own and the six collaborators’ lived realities.



National Biennale: WEYA 2012

Visual ArtsOliver WoodA