"All of my work sits in both the documentary tradition and the constructed tradition. The women in the photographs—those are their clothes, they are in a real space. But it is a complicated idea of what is truth; photography’s just like the eye."
These pictures originally appeared in the VICE's 2014 photo issue.
Photos courtesy of the artist and Scaramouche, New York/Carroll and Sons, Boston
VICE: The pictures in the magazine are titled “Spirit and Matter.” What are some things that they’re dealing with?
Michael Bühler-Rose: What a lot of the work does is play with ideas of the artist as priest, the art object as a deity, the gallery as a post-Enlightenment temple, and the installation of an artwork as a ritual consecration.
Would you say that your work is documentary in any way?
All of my work sits in both the documentary tradition and the constructed tradition. The women in the photographs—those are their clothes; they are in a real space. But it is a complicated idea of what is truth. Photography’s just like the eye. So we can say any time you bring out a camera that changes the dynamic, but really anytime anyone sees you, that changes the dynamic. So really it is just, what are hard truths, what are soft truths, what are things that are relative? Everything is subjective, but then of course that leads to questions like, "Is there a possibility of absolutes?" I think there is.
See more pictures from VICE's 2014 photo issue here.