Q&A: Cole Barash — Stiya (Deadbeat Club)


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Making is thinking. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? ‘ How we have to go into the DMV (Dpt of Motor Vehicles), pick a fuckin number and sit. Sit until you are called, and then to fill out a piece of paper to get anything completed. Some you are able to do online but not a lot. Kills me in there. Are you aware of any conspiracies? Not really except someone just told me that I do not need to buy organic fruit that has thick skin. Only the thin skin is worth that extra cash. What is it that interests you about photography? To further illustrate one large idea by several compositions either alone or in sequence. What is the worst thing about city life? Worst­ is probably the air and how even coffee from the bodega is not $1. What part of the planet would you like to explore? I’m keen to get to Africa and Croatia. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Chemical imbalance. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? MLK. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. TBH probably something in Area 51 like one of those super top secret gigs that not even you know where you are when shit goes down. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? Happens legit all the time. I sometimes space out and am not listening to someone talking while thinking about examining a certain thing or looking more into the anticipation of a moment. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Curate or teach underprivileged art. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. Assume nothing. How often do you take other people’s advice? Not enough. Describe a personal hell. The 405. Which living person do you most admire? The Dali Lama. On what occasion do you lie? No no for sure not. Not at all. No way.

What was the last crime you witnessed? Recently was on a flight and saw this piece of shit who was wasted touch this pregnant women’s ass whom he was sitting next to. She was terrified and it was a bad situation. Killed me not to be able to intercept. What is the best way to educate yourself? Know first what it is you want to learn. Then figure out how to go and learn it. Then repeat it. What is the next book you want to read? The old man and the sea. Ultimate camera? Real answer: Mamiya 7 Fake answer: A paint brush. Cause I wish I was a painter more than anything but I can’t paint for shit. I just love how limitless it is. Most used camera? Flip phone. #vintage. What object do you want? Recently been into building very utilitarian furniture. Donald Judd style. I’m quite shit but getting more into it.­ I think the next thing I am after is a day bed. What object do you need? Pen and paper. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? Similar to your TV but in color, you can talk to it and you can see everything in the world on it at a blink of an eye. It also charges you 99$/month to hang out with it and sometimes it secretly decides it will be more. It has the power to­ lighten you, depress you, addict you and drive you mad. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? No, not really. Wish I could fly highhhhhh. Describe a cheap thrill. Netflix. Pick a historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. Gerry lopez at pipe in 71’. Are impulses more important than consequences? 100%. Which talent would you most like to have? Nitevision. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? Sleep. Wake up probably have a nice lil coffee before anyone is up. Possibly strike for a surf and then continue to build out this project I’ve been working on. Ending the day with I think tacos, and have another pass through Mimi Plumbs new book Landfall.

“Stiya” is the newest body of work from the Brooklyn based artist, Cole Barash. He uses a unique hyper-focused approach in a study of two pure forms of raw energy, a Nor’Easter storm and the birth of a child. Through composition and sequence, this work considers the experience of these two worlds as one.

At first, I hadn’t made the connection between the two events and was naturally drawn out into photographing the storm and the aftermath. I spent a few days hiking the dunes, the beaches, the ponds and woods, focusing on areas that had been impacted by the storm and areas that hadn’t changed at all. Later realizing that in its seclusion, the space of a storm can be much like the space of a delivery room. The pressure, the buildup, the excitement and fear that come along with witnessing this incredible transformation of energy. Both spaces exclusive to the elements involved in conceiving the change, I was so curious. What was this going to look like?

We were on high alert to be prepared and expect the worst. Receiving notifications, one after another that the Nor’Easter storm Stella was coming. With record-breaking winds at 75 miles per hour in Wellfleet, MA where two days prior, we had welcomed our first child, Iya into the world.

The labor lasted four long days and in that time I was drawn to the obscurities in the room. The mirror was especially interesting, providing an alternative perspective to the room and to the relationship between the medical personnel and my wife. The variety of shapes and tools, the strong bodily language and communication that was happening in the final stages of delivery to the heroic and monumental moments of my child taking her first breath of fresh air. I was intrigued by all the elements that came together to create the landscape where I was going to have the most important and beautiful experience of my life.

Cole Barash (b.1987) is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Working in the mediums of digital, analog, and archival photography, Barash often focuses on the conversation of color and composition between two objects or moments. Well acquainted with international subcultures, Cole seeks “subjects where the boundaries are more open and not as seasoned”. Using an organic approach, his portraiture and still lifes became known for their candid and spontaneous sense of intimacy.

Cole Barash’s Stiya is available now via the Deadbeat Club online store here