New York photographer Sophie Barbasch is used to long-term photographic projects. With her Fault Line series, started in 2013, she captures the evolution of dynamics within her own family. Today, with the black and white Military Logic series she took in 2016, she photographed the military police school in Fortaleza, Brazil. “In an environment that is all about surveillance and optics, I observed them observing each other. I thought about how the simple act of looking can be disruptive.. ”
When did you fall in love with photography ?
I’ve always found it liberating to have an expressive vocabulary that is not tied to language. I also like how photography makes you go out into the world. There was never one single moment of realizing that I wanted to be a photographer—rather, it has been an iterative process. What I like about being a photographer is that it is never over; each image points to the next.
Recently, I compiled a bunch of artist statements. Seeing them all together reinforced the fact that I am always thinking about the same basic idea, or tension, in my work. It is the tension between the need to know something and the impossibility of really knowing something. Maybe it’s better expressed as a dynamic of imagining something in its cohesive entirety and then deconstructing and examining its component parts. I think of it as an obsession with structure and its dissolution.
It depends on the context and the relationship, particularly since each person has such a different reaction to the camera.
I’m trying to finalize a few bodies of work that are each in different stages and also working on some new zines. I like having projects that last different durations of time–there’s something liberating about making a little zine in a week to break up the longer projects.