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Fire is part of a series by Barbara Diener titled Sehnsucht (2012), a difficult to translate German word meaning a deep longing for someone or something which is neither fully defined nor rectified. Diener explores the complexity of home and rootedness in her work. Born and raised in a small town in Germany, Diener photographs rural communities in Europe and the United States that are demographically similar to her hometown. These places have maintained a rural lifestyle in a society where the relevance of such a way of living is questioned. But in these rustic towns, Diener sees the human experience and her images portray the abstract feeling of comfort provided by the notion of home.
Barbara Diener completed her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2013), and a BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts (2006). Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, at institutions including the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA (2013); Lillstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL (2013); SOArt Gallery, Ruston, LA (2013); Pingyao Photo Festival, China (2012); The Arcade, Chicago, IL (2012), and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA (2012). Diener is a winner of the Flash Forward 2013 award and a recipient of the Albert P. Weisman award from Columbia College Chicago in both 2012 and 2013.