Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
Over the last 20 years, Uta Barth has been steadily producing a body of work that stands apart from the dominant trajectory of photography. That trajectory has always been rooted in making a visual record of things in the world. This descriptive function of photography is so fundamental to our understanding of what the medium is and does that it can be hard even to register alternative approaches. Certainly we can see the traces of the visible world in Barth's photographs. They are not exercises in abstraction. Nonetheless, description of the world is not her primary aim. Instead, Barth is interested in pursuing issues of perception: of how we see as much or more than what we see. In this, she has more in common with artists who have made use of photography sparingly or not at all, such as Robert Irwin, Robert Ryman or Olafur Eliasson, than she does with most other photographers. The title of Lawrence Weschler's book on Irwin, Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (1982), perhaps best encapsulates this alternative approach to what art can do, or be. Equally, one might think of John Cage, who understood that for us to hear silence it first needs to be bracketed out from the rest of the world that surrounds it. As Barth herself has put it, "most photographs are tied up with pointing at things in the world and thereby ascribing significance to them (and subject and content are mostly one and the same)." Her photographs, by contrast, often hover on the edge of appearing to show nothing at all. Only if the viewer is willing to give contemplative time to them do they begin to reveal their entire content. Russell Ferguson, excerpted from The Long Now.
Often blurred or with only one element rendered sharply, clinging to the margin of the composition, Uta Barth's deceptively simple photographs of ordinary, ambiguous places are both elegant and challenging. Walls, windows, patches of light on a rug, the glow of an out-of-focus glance toward the horizon: all these provoke phenomenological reflections on perception and subjectivity, often suspending a viewer in the midst of the customary attempt to make sense of what is being seen, to reduce it to an accessible package of associations and meaning.
Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co.. Text by Jonathan Crary, Russell Ferguson, Holly Myers.
Often blurred or with only one element rendered sharply, clinging to the margin of the composition, Uta Barth's deceptively simple photographs of ordinary, ambiguous places are both elegant and challenging. Walls, windows, patches of light on a rug, the glow of an out-of-focus glance toward the horizon: all these provoke phenomenological reflections on perception and subjectivity, often suspending a viewer in the midst of the customary attempt to make sense of what is being seen, to reduce it to an accessible package of associations and meaning. "Certain expectations are unfulfilled: expectations of what a photograph normally depicts, of how we are supposed to read the space in the image, of how a picture normally presents itself on the wall," Barth has said. "This kind of questioning and reorientation is the point of entry and discovery, not only in a cognitive way, but in an almost visceral, physical and personal sense." This comprehensive monographic volume presents a definitive overview of Barth's works, fully illustrated with more than 300 full-color reproductions, spanning from her earliest photographs to her most recent. New texts by Russell Ferguson, former Chief Curator of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Holly Myers, art critic and writer; and renowned scholar Jonathan Crary provide critical perspectives on the work of this visionary artist. Born in Berlin in 1958, and now resident in Los Angeles, Uta Barth is represented in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Tate in London. In 2007 Barth was named a Broad Art Foundation Fellow.
Published by Site Santa Fe. Edited by Charles Stainback. Essay by Jan Tumlir.
Uta Barth aims her camera at the everyday places that are ignored or overlooked, taking note of the incidental and the passage of time, while being deeply engaged with looking at nothing. Included here are photographs from the series nowhere near, ...end of time, and white blind (bright red).
PUBLISHER Site Santa Fe
BOOK FORMAT Paperback, 8.5 x 9 in. / 64 pgs / 33 color
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 6/2/2004 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2004
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780970077479TRADE List Price: $30.00 CDN $35.00
Published by St. Ann's Press. Essay by Elizabeth A.T. Smith.
Since 1994, Uta Barth has been creating a series of photographs which consist of blurred images generated by focusing the camera on an unoccupied foreground. These unframed, empty, but lushly seductive images present only background information, implying the absence of subjects, and referring to the function of images as containers of information and the role of the viewer in reading that information. This book is a faithful reproduction of the long out-of-print catalogue which was published on the occasion of Barth's first major museum exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1996.
PUBLISHER St. Ann's Press
BOOK FORMAT Paperback, 8.5 x 9.25 in. / 56 pgs / 24 color.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 6/2/2002 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2002
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780971368101TRADE List Price: $30.00 CDN $35.00