Uta Barth: Sundial: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is delighted to present Sundial, an exceptional group of new works that comprise Uta Barth’s seventh solo exhibition with the gallery.
Conceived as pictures of light, the photographs that make up Sundial trace the effect of the sun's movement as natural light falls and moves across the interior spaces of the artist's home over the course of the day, on different days throughout the year. These photographs were primarily taken at dusk, when the last play of light begins to erase itself and the illuminated world is put to rest, when objects are caught in beams of light and cast their quickly fading shadows on walls, ceilings and floors. The resulting images are still, silent and slow. They are occasionally interrupted by the drifting optical afterimages produced by prolonged staring into the light, inverted visions our eyes can see, yet the camera cannot, a place where logic begins to slip and unexpected associations are made.
Throughout her career, Barth has photographed exquisitely composed scenes of blurred backgrounds, fleeting glimpses and peripheral details. Often ‘empty’ or without a central subject, Barth’s images highlight objects and views taken for granted in our daily lives, the ones that frame and contain our existence and are so familiar to us that they become almost invisible. In bringing to our attention scenes and objects that habitually go unnoticed, the subject of Barth’s photographs becomes the act of looking itself. Subverting the notion that the principal purpose of photography is to capture spectacle, the artist chooses instead to use the camera as a way of evoking the passage of time, the evanescence of memory, and the fallibility of the human eye.