Barbara Sternberg

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Film has endless possibilities. Luckily for me its inherent properties of time and light correspond to my interest in perception (by perception I mean bodily as well as mental apprehension): how we see the world and ourselves in it; how we perceive time, how it presses on us - pastness, history, repetition, movement, presence - the layers of reality. Does life flow like a river? Is permanence an illusion or vice versa? Rhythm is very important to me in shooting and cutting as an experience of external phenomena and as an expression of inner being. I can sum up my aesthetic position in three words: daily, observational, messy. I don't go for the monumental. I film the everyday. Nonetheless, my film are about" power. I tend to work against the glossy surface Kodak gives us, to mess it up. I see perfection as a barrier. Subjects are not there for me to have under my control. I take an observational stance - more a glance than a studied gaze. The world is not ours to hold on to. I use many different images and allow for their multiple reading. Meaning, or a sense of something, of the complexity of the world, accumulates over the time of the film. In depicting the contradictions and paradoxes of life (and death), my films say "and" rather than "or." I work with images between abstraction and representation. When images are emptied of meaning they approach being. Light, energy, life. "