Cara Barer studied Art and Photography at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and at the Art Institute of Houston. Her photography, centered around damp/water-damaged books, has appeared in shows from New York to California, and throughout the state of Texas.
Cara explains the work by saying, “Books, physical objects and repositories of information, are being displaced by zeros and ones in a digital universe with no physicality. Through my art, I document this and raise questions about the fragile and ephemeral nature of books and their future. I arrive at some of my images by chance and others through experimentation. Without these two elements, my work would not flow easily from one idea to the next. A random encounter on Drew Street with a Houston Yellow Pages was the primary inspiration for me. After that chance meeting, I began to search for more books, and more ways to recreate them. I realized I owned many books that were no longer of use to me, or for that matter, anyone else. Would I ever need a “Windows 95 Manual”? After soaking it in the bathtub for a few hours, it had a new shape and purpose. Half-Price Books became a regular haunt, and an abandoned house yielded a set of outdated reference books, complete with mold and neglect. Each book tells me how to begin according to its size, type of paper and sometimes contents.”