As an artist working with lens-based imagery, L Bahr’s stated intention is “to disrupt ingrained habits of perception by questioning the nature of the photographic object itself.”
Though the images Bahr creates typically bear some vestige of respresentation, they all, in varying ways, deliberately misconstrue
and negate the traditional view that photography is bound exclusively to representation, calling basic presumptions into question—the relativity of dimensional parameters, for example, or the notion that photographs are, of necessity, bound by any narrative drive or putative referent.
Bahr is a formalist, though often relies upon experimentation, chance and, regularly, a great deal of failure. And it is through such experimentation that the resultant images insist upon the multiplicity and mutability, rather than the authority, of “the thing itself.”
Artists such as Josef Albers and David Hockney, who both made forays into photography, believed, as Albers outlines, that “the most significant difference betweeen the human eye and the camera is that the lens of the eye is flexible, and the lens of the camera, inflexible.” Both made photo collages that were a deliberate attempt to work against this perceived limitation in an effort to construct a view more akin to that of the human eye, one that expanded the concept of a photograph as a three-dimensional vision bound within a two-dimensional plane. On the other hand was the photography of Aaron Siskind, who worked to eliminate the third dimension completely and offer a vision that reflected the inherent two dimensional restrictions of the viewing plane.
As an outgrowth of several degrees obtained in the multidisciplinary studies of art history, textile design and interior architecture, L Bahr’s perceptual view floats somewhere between these realms; an eye that is perhaps best described as uniquely
flexible, trained in parallel perpectives, providing the frame of reference reflected in these projects.