Bjarne Bare is a Norwegian photographer who graduated from the Oslo Academy of Fine Art. His work has been featured in Boooooom, Its Nice That, and Self Publish, Be Happy. He has won grants from the Arts Council in Norway, and is the co-founder of Melk, an artist run initiative gallery, studio space, and bookstore for new Scandinavian photography. His first monograph, Hose Variations, is currently distributed in three different continents by Blackbook, Melk, and Antennebooks.
You can tell a lot about a person from the inanimate objects they surround themselves with: their clothes, the knick-knacks on their mantel, or maybe the blankets on their bed. But the last thing you’d think to check is their garden hose. Bare, however, might just change your mind. His monograph, Hose Variations, is exactly what you think it is: a forty page book filled with 27 studies of hoses from the neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Berlin, Oslo, Lodz, and Buenos Aires.
Hose Variations could be considered a slight continuation of Bare’s previous series, Outboard Swaddle, an extensive formal study of outboard boat motors wrapped in tarps in Venice. Like Outboard Swaddle, Variations is not only a formal exploration of “coiled form and color”, but it also provides the reader with a surprisingly insightful profile of its absent user. Bare puts it best:
“How one keeps one’s garden hose is a visible, though commonly overlooked, sign of one’s moral attitude towards the social whole. Often communal property, easily tangled and damaged through neglect, a well-coiled hose shows one’s consideration for the next user and the proper functioning of the group.”
Photographed in both pristine condition and in twisted disarray, Bare presents to us the exact opposite of the decisive moment, finding his meaning instead in the static stretches in between.
While certainly a light-hearted study, Hose Variations serves as a serious testament to the significance of artist’s intention. With a focused lens and a deliberate purpose, we can turn the objects in our lives on their heads, we can study ourselves without even being in the frame, and a garden hose can hold much more than just water.
Review by Taylor Kigar
Title : “Hose Variations”, 2011
Size : 26 x 19 cm
Page Count : 40 Pages
Publisher : Cornerkiosk Press
ISBN : 978-82-998640-0-8
Edition : 500, Signed