2012 MacArthur Fellow Uta Barth pursues the abstract slithers of light, form and ambience surrounding her subjects: the fleeting instant. Crafted as otherwise unconventional compositions, Barth’s images cohesively collude before the viewer’s eye to offer a moment of human relativity.
In this Snapshot frame, “Untitled (…and of time #4)”, pure subject matter is limited to the upper ridge of a yellow sofa and the interjection of a dormant lampshade. This scattered focal point breaks down our general pre-emptive perceptions of an image, exposing the eye to the significance of otherwise subordinate semiotic factors. The yellow light becomes warm. The empty sofa becomes less suggestive of harsh absence. The shadow from the window pane becomes a flicker of the world outside.
Collating such clues, amid the absence of a clear pragmatic definition, gives rise to numerous interpretations of the image: a room of warmth; an unoccupied residency. The vast spectrum of juxtaposition and connotation between the two means that, like many of Barth’s compositions, the humbly poignant instant captures a slightly different notion for each of us