Barbara Diener

Barbara Diener

Sehnsucht | Sehnsucht  is a German compound word derived from yearning (das Sehnen) and addiction (die Sucht). But even when considered together, the English words “yearning-addiction” do not adequately translate the full meaning in German. The word connotes a longing for someone or something that cannot be fully defined and will not be found. Initially motivated by precisely this feeling of longing, I made these photographs in small towns and rural communities in the United States and Europe, all demographically similar to the town in Germany where I grew up. The characters I encounter in these villages are as complex as the ambivalent sense of rootedness I am searching for. My compositions mirror this quality, deliberately mixing traditional photographic genres such as the portrait, landscape, or interior. While my rural upbringing allows me to photograph these subjects, in a sense, as a participant-observer, my attraction to this environment is more than merely personal. The people in my photographs exist in their own world, and this spatial and emotional distance functions as a reminder that these places remain impermeable and the comfort I am searching for is indeed elusive. www.barbaradienerphotography.com

 

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