Uta Barth, White Blind, Bright Red,
installation viewt, 2002,
Bonakdar Gallery, New York
narrative annoy you?
Narrative holds out for a certain
inevitability, it places deep faith in cause and effect. Narrative is
about reconstructing a chain of meaningful events based on a known
outcome. I’m curious about visual art that’s about the visual.
Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees is the title of
Robert Irwin’s biography. Originally, it was a line in a Zen text.
Narrative in art makes us think about all sorts of interesting things, but
it derails the engagement with a visual experience.
Uta Barth, Field Nr. 19, 1996,
Courtesy Uta Barth, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York,
ACME, Los Angeles
Narrative asks for
interpretation, for us to make meaning or sense out what we’re looking at.
Narrative seems a quick and easy diversion from the more difficult
challenge of actually trying to see.
Henri Cartier Bresson’s concept of the “decisive moment” is
never anything you’d want to come anywhere near –
(Laughing) Only in his work, but you’re right, never in mine.
Uta Barth's responses (c) 2006 Uta Barth