Barbash and Castaing‐Taylor’s work seeks to conjugate the ambiguity and provocations of art with a documentary attachment to the immediate flux of lived experience. Working in Montana since 2001, they have deployed different stylistic registers in film, video, and photography to evoke at once the attractions and the ambivalence of the pastoral by juxtaposing monumental and mythological Western landscapes with multiple tracks of subjective synchronous sound. Forthcoming video works of Castaing-Taylor’s in 2010 include Hell Roaring Creek, Coom Biddy, Into‐the‐jug (geworfen), Turned at the Pass, Breakfast, Daybreak on the Bed Ground, Bedding Down, and The High Trail.
Previous works include Made in USA (1990), a film about sweatshops and child labor in the Los Angeles garment industry, and In and Out of Africa (1992), an ethnographic video about authenticity, taste, and racial politics in the transnational African art market, which won eight international awards. Their work has been exhibited and the subject of symposia at the Smithsonian Institution and the British Museum, and also installed at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and the James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center.
Their written publications include Visualizing Theory (Taylor, ed., Routledge, 1994), Cross‐Cultural Filmmaking (California, 1997), Transcultural Cinema, a collection of essays by the ethnographic filmmaker David MacDougall (Taylor ed., Princeton, 1998), and The Cinema of Robert Gardner (Berg, 2008). Taylor was the founding editor of the American Anthropological Association’s journal Visual Anthropology Review (1991–94).
Barbash and Castaing-Taylor divide their time between Massachusetts, USA, and the French Pyrenees. Barbash is a curator of visual anthropology at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum, and Castaing-Taylor is director of Harvard’s new Sensory Ethnography Lab, and a professor of Visual & Environmental Studies and of Anthropology.