notes & remarks on my work

Irina Lino, Die Brücke / Marianne Fischer, Kleine Zeitung / Christiane Zintzen, writer / Berthold Ecker, curator / Claudia Aigner, art critic / Lucas Gehrmann, curator

"there are many things to see and many ways of seeing them, so why should an artist reduce the sphere of his activities to just a single perspective? in Armin Bardel we find an artist who juggles with an assortement of possibilities, enjoying the irritation of the manifold rather than enslaving himself to the tedium of repetition.
the diversity of his opus may be more difficult to grasp than the familar continuity of a single specialism but it is more exciting and more honest. this honesty also underlies his use of the photographic medium and the artist's working methods; he uses photography in its original sense, catching a moment, documenting moments in time, using the camera as a third eye. Bardel does not plan and does not like to direct events. rather he waits and watches, letting things happen as they occur, only occassionally prompting, so that things happen in a way suitable for documentation. once a photograph has been taken the artist is curious about what it will reveal, often being surprised by unexpected results as the depicted speaks for itself. thus motivs and subjects follow him, occassionally crystallising into a series (faces, hands, nudes, angels, nature, etc.)
the map of these diverse directions obviously define the artist and his vision of the world. however the perpetually shifting nature of his encyclopaedic endeavour reflect both the ever changing nature of the self and the out-datedness and obsoleteness of the founding principles of his medium. moreover, the moments captured by Armin Bardel are captured so as to reveal their transitory nature, like objects frozen in ice or modeled in wax. for all the aura of permanence which his subjects may possess there is also the knowledge that one day ice and wax will melt, stone will crumble, wood decay and flesh rot. in this way the artist endows an invention of the old world with the vision and dynamism of the new."

Alexander Curtis, writer & filmmaker

"... studies, which because of my by no means insignificant knowledge of the subject matter interest me. ... The work is at its most interesting precisely where it transcends traditional iconographic expectations."
("... Studien, die mich auch auf dem Hintergrund meiner nicht geringen Kenntnisse des Sujets, interessieren. [...] Gerade dort, wo sie die klassischen Ikonographieerwartungen Überschreiten, werden die Arbeiten am interessantesten.")

Peter Waiermair, principal of the Rupertinum Salzburg, on the "Nude Selves" series

"... outstanding contribution to the collaborative photo wall mural 'October 17, 1990', a marker on the one-year anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Bardel transcended the predictable presentation by employing a half dozen wide-angle door viewer lenses to engage the viewer to come close and look through the wall for a more intimate connection.Ironically, the images were all charged international news events that tended to shock at such close viewing. Bardel also employed cut-outs that workers had al-ready made on the plywood wall for public viewing. In this case he suspended color Xerox images of a moment in time (the moment of the earthquake) as it related to the rolling hills of the University terrain. The installation was very effective and engaging."

Mike Mandel, photographer, on an open-air photo-installation in Santa Cruz, California, 1990

"The project radiates in many different directions: Bardel's own ability to effect a variety of 'looks' to communicate different feelings and evoke viewer responses; how little visual information is required to produce a perception of a face; the iconic communication of particular faces; audience feedback documentation. ... high standard of work."

Mike Mandel, photographer, on a photographic study of portraits & self-portaits

"... a computer-generated collaboration that expanded on a Newsweek article on prisoners of war. The piece was brilliant in concept and execution."

Norman Locks, photographer, former assistant of Anselm Adams, on the piece "P.O.W./C.M.I."