My work raises questions, creates a dialogue, and explores unusual and sometimes humorous solutions to challenges that arise at the intersection of public and private space.
“Claussen is well known as one of the most prominent local artists working in what has been deemed a new brand of art-making, which rejects the traditional notions of the autonomous artist making self-referential art, and instead embraces a more democratic vision of art—One that is interpersonal, collaborative, and committed to social function.“
Diane Mullin, associate curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, December 2010
“Seeking to open up space for dialogue, to hear and record contrary points of view, Claussen oscillates between the roles of witness, ally, quasi-neutral observer, chronicler, and occasionally, activist. What sets her work apart from other community-minded collaborations is a characteristic whiff of subtle irreverence, a trickster-like understated humor that means no hurtful disrespect but offers another means of diffusing a charged situation.”
Christina Schmid, assistant professor at College of the Visual Arts, October 2, 2009
“Fresh and imaginative installations, including...architectural models of oddball solutions for a boundary dispute in suburban Lauderdale. In beautifully crafted scale models, Claussen illustrates a variety of hilarious solutions to the imbroglio...In a charming example of democracy-as-art, visitors may sketch their own ideas and vote on solutions.”
Mary Abbe, art critic for the Star Tribune, June 11. 2004
"Barbara Claussen’s reproduction of three traditional London Phone booths are equally rewarding. The iconic red boxes with their curved tops and mullioned windows are imposing presences, but inviting too as a soothing voice repeatedly urges visitors to step inside. Doing so activated another recording in which male and female voice lay out the attractions and perils of “the System,” which alternatively promises safety, punishment and rewards while also abusing its power, demanding loyalty and using, “force when necessary.” Seductive, cautionary, authoritarian and fearful, the voices enact a terse and effective bit of political theater in a phone booth."
Mary Abbe, art critic for the Star Tribune, October 16, 2009