Phantom Power • Barbara Diener SIGNED Limited Edition
Limited edition comes with Hollow Log, 2017 - Inkjet print, printed on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl paper, 7 x 10.5 inches (image); 8.5 x 11 inches (paper), edition of 15. Signed, numbered and dated on verso. The limited edition comes with a signed copy of the book Phantom Power.
Barbara Diener’s Phantom Power was released by Daylight Books in spring 2018. Her publication features essays by High Museum Assistant Curator Gregory Harris and curator and professor Allison Grant and offer discussions of Diener’s work and history of the turn of the century practice of spirit and supernatural photography. Diener was inspired by a photographic subject, friend and muse, Kathy, who searches for the spirits who may or may not inhabit the familial ancestral home on her husband’s farm. The photographer, in an exploration and search for comfort in the years after her father’s death, had at least two experiences with a medium. She shares some of these details in a small black folded insert in the front of the book, reminiscent of a note passed in school classrooms containing secret details only meant for the receiver. The book features Diener’s images, some taken using an Oldfield filter, a filter that gives the refracted rainbow images, and others with a laser grid, a device that projects green dots onto the line of sight and might allow detection of forms that may not be seen by the naked eye – the spectral shape of a spirit who may be present in the view of the camera.
Diener plays with darkness, light refraction, shadows, and heavy flash to create a tale that ranges in its aesthetics and builds the emotions about the mysterious intersection between life and death. Her images are visceral exploration; an experience in the search for the unseen. While her photographs are documents of the invisible, they do not embrace the dark side of the spectral nature. They are images that are looking for comfort and knowledge and relate to both her personal and supernatural exploration. The book's design presents the images surrounded by a black border and others with white borders, contrasted with full bleeds creating with a slow pace without full stops, but merely pauses on each image. This provides a cadence not of stepping or walking, but floating through the book.