Since its 19th century foundations, photography has used the metaphor of the world as a dream. German photographer, Isabella Berr, makes photographs that often read as frozen dreams. She consistently uses framing devices such as windows and doors to bracket her images. We are always a step removed from being an active participant in the world her pictures portray. Focus is intentionally left soft and depth of field is almost nonexistent. Her pictures deliberately employ a blurring of vision. It is as if we are trying to ‘fix’ an image while looking out the window of a speeding train.
Isabella Berr extensively uses cropping in composing her photographs. She abstracts her work by concentrating on the part of the negative that she finds the most interesting. Identities and actions are left ambiguous and indeterminate. Berr also employs subtle and rich repetitions of forms and patterns of light. Her pictures are made in the waxing and waning light of dusk and dawn.
Just as musical melodies form as the relationship of one note to another, Berr’s photographs build on the relationship of light and patterning within each image. The dynamics, or sounds, of the pictures are produced when the eye forms the parts it sees into a nebulous whole. Stillness is activated, and it dances in front of our eyes as we watch modulations of form and color suggest various identities and meanings.