I have briefly looked at Uta Barth’s work in the past, I found her work very interesting but was never able to link it into any of my projects, however when looking through the pack that we were given she was one of the first photographers/ artists that I thought of. Barth looks at the foreground and background of an image and draws our attention to things that we otherwise might not notice, usually in the background of these images, shifting our attention from what we would normally look at: the foreground. For me, once I have seen her pictures it is all I am noticing and am constantly thinking about what I have seen, I want to have that effect when people are looking at my images. Some of her work is slightly blurred, as if you are seeing something out of the corning of your eye, as if its a fleeting moment in passing. I think images similar to this would be a really interesting twist in my project and something that people aren’t expecting when looking at an interior series. Other series of work from Barth are also interesting, such as some of the diptychs and triptychs. These will help me think more about pairing and sequencing images together.
‘The question for me always is how can I make you aware of your own activity of looking, instead of losing your attention to thoughts about what it is you are looking at.’-Uta Barth
By thinking about images like this Barth achieves the audiences full attention on her work, they aren’t day dreaming about something else as it shocks them that they have never noticed before, as I said earlier they will then find themselves thinking about it later and noticing similar patterns.
‘When I perceive I belong, through my point of view, to the world as a whole, nor am I aware of the limits of my visual field.’-Merleau-Ponty
As a photography we notice different things, interesting patterns and situations that others may not usually, this is what Barth’s photography is all about, there are no limits to her visual field, and she is constantly striving to find something new so this quote fits her work perfectly. Her work is very much about finding them ‘happy accidents’ within the worlds everyday vision.
‘In no way am I interested in making photographs that look like or mimic paintings, but I am interested in the shared territory between the two, which simply arrives out of established conventions of picture making.’– Uta Barth
This quote is something that I entirely agree with, I too have no interest in copying the look of paintings, but want to find my own unique way to represent the world. This is something Barth has done. She has spoken about how our eyes are constantly changing and although we may not notice it there is a moment in time when what we see is out of focus, this is something she has recreated. It has created a soft light image, and gives the audience something to thin about when wondering what it is. The blurriness in her images was done through no accident.
Barths images are very minimalistic as are the Haikus that I have researched by Matsuo Basho, yet another reason why this style of photography is worth researching for my project. I want to appropriately respond to Basho’s work, and a minimalistic approach certainly fits this brief. I don’t want to risk over complicating my work and therefore reflecting Basho’s work in the wrong light.
Below are a few examples of Uta Barth’s work: