Sophie Barbasch

Sophie Barbasch


artist statement about Universal Order (2008-2010):

I see my work as a series of stories about curiosity and upheaval. The images depict everyday events that point to larger struggles and incongruities. The experience of an uprooted, splintered self is implicit.

The pictures of people, objects, and animals floating in space, of suspended leaves and loose puzzle pieces, embody this fragmented experience. Crooked frames and disrupted, decaying surfaces point to a collective scattered existence. A force outside the frame has acted upon each entity and interrupted its natural state.

Photography relates to the promise and subsequent denial of clarity. I look for linear narratives, but instead find inscrutable parts of wholes, unreachable people, and unreadable maps. I do not posit anything; instead, I wait for memories to be triggered. This fusion of novelty and repetition—of finding new things that are simply a reminder of the old—underscores how we act out the stories we tell about ourselves, seeing our present based on expectations rooted in the past.


what do you love about the MFA program at RISD?

I love how committed my peers and teachers are at RISD.  The program pushes me to be really honest with myself.  Since arriving four months ago, I have questioned my practice in fundamental, unexpected ways.

anticipated graduation date: June 2013