Baranowsky is known as a video artist with a unique visual language, a language that emphasizes stillness and tranquillity and that is able to open up new, confusing aspects of how we perceive a moving image with the most minimal of measures. In Baranowsky’s videos, a swimmer, for instance, can move in her lane for minutes, without taking so much as a single gasp for air. Or cyclists can race at different speeds without ever outpacing each other. With characteristic precision and with an intense concentration on the image’s atmosphere, the artist explores themes, such as the power of suggestion of moving images, the manipulation of meaning by media, or technology’s influence on our understanding of reality. As her friend and colleague Jack Goldstein once said, she does so with an approach that “is seemingly so casual, that the act of controlling the image is visually almost invisible.” But at the same time, Baranowky’s works are never a pure critique of image technology; in the gap between media and reality she always finds a surplus of experience as well.
In pêche, she refers to an early film of the Lumierès, La Pêche Aux Poissons Rouges, and uses this reference to question the authenticity of the moving image.
Germany 2009, 2-channel video installation on monitor, HD, Color, Sound, 11:40 minutes, Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss
The sailing stones in Racetrack are a geological phenomenon found in the Racetrack, a high flat plane in Death Valley. The stones slowly move across the surface of the playa, leaving a track as they go, without human or animal intervention. Baranowsky circles these stones and by using the stop/motion effect showing the human’s eye persistence of vision, which is essential for film making.
Germany 2010, 3 channel video installation, stop motion animation, HD, Color, Sound, 6 minutes, Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss
Heike Baranowsky, born 1966 in Augsburg, lives and works in Berlin. She studied in Munich, Hamburg and London and taught in Pasadena, USA and Bergen, Norway. Since 2008, she is professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Germany.