Untitled (nw 15)
Uta Barth ( American, 1958 )
Uta Barth has created a body of photographs whose elegance deceptively embodies some of the most fundamental of all human activities: looking and seeing. In these three photographs, a triptych taken from Uta Barth’s series titled Nowhere Near, the artist uses views outside her own backdoor at night, the lights of the home across the yard, and the reflections in the window of inside rooms to set up an experience of viewing ordinary things anew. She investigates the idea of unconscious vision, or, what we see without knowing it. Using visually ambiguous spaces, Barth redirects our focus from looking at the world from a single perspective to one that is factual and mysterious at the same time. In juxtaposing views outside her back door at night, Barth provides her viewers with a setting so familiar as to be forgettable: back door lights of the house across the yard are seen shining in late evening, while the sky shuts down the day like a heavy disappearing veil. Such a scene represents a moment when the mind is relaxed enough to go slightly out of focus, yet aware enough to register the barest elements.
Charles Wylie, DMA unpublished material, 2009.
Charles Wylie, DMA unpublished material, 2000.