Uta Barth: nowhere near: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Bonakdar Jancou Gallery is pleased to present nowhere near, an exhibition of new work by Uta Barth. nowhere near is a project in three parts, consisting of concurrent gallery exhibitions in Los Angeles, New York, and Stockholm. Each exhibition will feature a different selection of images from the series, and will be accompanied by a 56 page full color publication that is an independent fourth element of the project.
Every picture in the nowhere near series features essentially the same subject, a large window in the artist’s home with a view overlooking her yard. Some images focus on the view through the window: into the yard, at a tree, or into the distance. Others are focused on the window itself or some component thereof: rain streaks, fingerprints, dust. Still others (those shot at night) reflect the interior of the space. Presented as photographic panels of precisely uniform dimension, the works consist mainly of diptychs and triptychs.
The window subject is of particular interest as a sort of blind spot, to some extent so banal as to be unseen by the artist in her everyday life. Taken as a whole, nowhere near projects this experience onto the viewer, so that in the end, this subject clearly ceases to be the issue of investigation. Rather, it is the conditions that determine and frame each picture that are of primary concern. As stated in Jan Tumlir’s essay from the nowhere near catalog, “a simple glance to the right or left is unfolded into a dense phenomenological drama of shifting focal planes, perspectival realignments and subjective recalibrations.”
Although the sheer repetition of the subject may hint towards the cinematic when viewed cumulatively, the lack of any real linear narrative in the selection of images leaves one with more the feeling of “ambient flux” than any real sense of place. As each new image only wears away more of the local detail, we see that Barth mobilizes photography to investigate first the nature of the medium itself, and second, the nature of perception.
Uta Barth was featured recently in Photography: An Expanded View at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Apposite Opposites at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; as well as exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston among others. Next year, Barth will be the subject of a one person show at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as well as a traveling one person survey exhibition to open at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, WA and will show at five additional museums in the US. Barth will also be featured in Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA.