November 13, 2012

Tina Barney: Small Towns

Small Towns
Tina Barney
Janet Borden Gallery
October 3 – Novemver 21, 2012


Tina Barney: Small Towns, Janet Borden Gallery, 2012


Tina Barney’s Small Towns is a great big feeling show in Janet Borden’s bright and beautifully intimate space. The project spans from 2005 to the present and is best described in Tina’s own words (as lifted from The New Yorker Photo Booth section, November 2011).


“In 2005, I was driving from my house, where I’ve lived since the nineteen-sixties, to Westerly, Rhode Island—a 15 minute drive,” Barney told me. “I realized I had overlooked this town where I’ve shopped for groceries, gone to the dry cleaners, fixed my car, gone to the bank, and repaired a watch. I began thinking about a new project to photograph.” The project, “Small Towns,” is in many ways different from her earlier bodies of work. “I was outside, which is rare for me, and I was also photographing strangers,” she said. But there are similarities as well. “The communal act of repeating events over and over, year after year, that develops into traditions, has always been the main attraction in whatever I seem to photograph,” she said. For “Small Towns,” Barney “started by photographing holiday parades with the local marching bands, craftsmen whose families had worked in the same locations for decades, such as metal workers, stone carvers, garage mechanics, and carpenters. A theme developed that branched out over six years into discovering situations like county and agricultural fairs, flower shows, Civil War re-enactments, Renaissance fairs, and all of the visual and patriotic delights that feed my fascination.”



Tina Barney: Small Towns, Janet Borden Gallery, 2012


Barney’s pieces are conventionally enlarged c-prints from original negatives, produced at LTI/Lightside. You can see a larger selection of images on the Janet Borden website by clicking here.


There is also a thorough review of Small Towns on the fascinating DLK Collection blog …  if you’ve never visited that site, then you owe yourself the treat. Click here for a real eyeopener and be sure to noodle through the checklists and other reviews  … again, if you’ve never been there,  you can thank me later.



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