»I am only interested in the form once everything else is in place. The contradictory. Suspense. Tension. The beauty in the fragile. The defiant. Moments in between. Dissolution. Letting go.« –Tina Bara
Tina Bara has created a photographic film based on more than 400 black-and-white photographs taken in the years 1983-1989 in the late stages of the GDR. Her commentary reflects upon the process of remembering; it is a narrative of encounter and loss as well as of an increasing alienation, which leads her to go over to the west in 1989. Tina Bara grew up in Guben, which is divided by the river Neisse and lies on east German and Polish soil. The rift, the wound, the scar – these become motifs that from then on shape her photographs.
In 1980, she went to East Berlin and studied history. But her day-to-day reality is life in Prenzlauer Berg, where dreamers and drop-outs create their refuges in the squats, backyards and roofs. The delicate faces of her friends emerge from the shadows. While in the first series the staging still dominates, nudity increasingly shows itself as self-defence, beyond collective chastisements.
The people portrayed are young, and yet Tina Bara’s camera senses their early traumas. The bodies in her pictures are fragmented, wedged together. In the text she relentlessly points out the consequences: depression, suicide, leaving the country. But the film also recognizes the minor escapes: illegal trips to the Baltic States or the untroubled countryside in the Uckermark. Standstill and movement couple up to an immense intensity, documenting the beauty and, simultaneously, the despair of those days. –Cornelia Klauß
In cooperation with SK Stiftung and KHM
Artist and photographer Tina Bara, born 1962 in Kleinmachnow, first worked as a freelance photographer, including for the DEFA studio for documentary films, for which she photographed the documentary whisper & SHOUT about alternative music culture in the GDR. At the end of the 1980s, she took a further training course in the field of video, and worked on documentary video film projects. Since 1993 she has been Professor of photography at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig.
Films by Tina Bara (Selection)
Einschüsse (Ukraine) with Joerg Waehner 2017 | Lost in Libken 2017 | Spontaneous Frameworks (Tbilisi) 2014 | Bianca läuft… 2013 | Audienzen – Strategien der Selbstbehauptung with Barbara Metselaar 2006/2007 | Kunstwerke 36 with Alba D’Urbano 2004/2005