RESEARCH TASK -Uta Barth

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The literal meaning of photography is to ‘write or draw with light’; I want to research into Barth’s collection of light in relation to my own idea of using light metaphorically in interior spaces. In her work the narratives of light and its presence in life is the focal point of Barth’s photos. She draws attention instead to the way she can outwardly activate or interrupt a composition of space. All photos are taken in her own home

‘To draw with light’ features three related sequences of atmospheric, minimalistic images. They recall the geometric abstractions of Mondrian with formalist grids of light and architectural detail. Her aims were to make viewers conscious of their own perceptual process in relationship to what they see in a gallery.

Barth said in an article on bomb magazine that she began taking photographs after taking a painting class and wanted to render certain spacial configurations and to study the light of these imagined scenes.  She found the process of photographing light forced her to learn how to truly see the light and study things in an image relate to the edge.

Barth was engaged by the idea of minimalism and much of the work from the light and space movements. She wanted to make work about ‘looking’ and visual perception as content in and of itself. Her work challenges the idea that the subject of the photos and the meaning are the same, by doing this she removes the central subject to look and think about the background.

Her work engages the ephemeral, the ambient, and the most subliminal information of everyday life. In some collections her images are ‘blurred’ this is where she focuses the camera on an unoccupied point in space; she photographs the volume of the room instead of its walls.

Barth’s main aim is to create an atmosphere through her images; I find this relates the most to my concept, by using light metaphorically it creates a feeling to the image; which can be quite personal to someone. Light is often seen as hope, and can be seen metaphorically in different ways to people; either as being not alone, godly light, the removal of darkness or even related to the passing of someone.

She explores the way light spills into the house and moves throughout the day. Barth manipulates the light by drawing curtains or shades in different rooms. This changes the formation of a small line of light to growing into a thick band of light.

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