I finally named my sweet little field camera, Uta: after Uta Barth. Her work serves as a great inspiration for my most recent body of work. I also just think her images are stunning, but maybe I’m biased.
The problem with thinking about focal points and subjects, whether the photographic subject or observing subject, it the tendency to regard the images blur as a function: the effect of a cause or the means by which we may attempt to orient ourselves to something not immediately evident. This tendency gives the blur a secondary status when obviously it is primary to the work. Functions aside, what does the blur mean? What is it as an end in itself? Because the blur is so inherently intermediate, that is, between visual thingness and nothingness, it is difficult to address such a question directly without interpreting the blur as a sign–and coming up with the visual shopworn readings of it. Instead, being as obtuse as a blur is–and taking our cue from the ‘Ground’ series’ title–we might ask: In what sense, outside of the figure-ground nomenclature, is the blur grounded? This is perhaps not so odd a question, for it can be approached in familiar terms that have been applied to all photographic images.
-Uta Barth, Between Places
Ground #38, 1994
Ground #42, 1994
Field #8, 1997
Untitled (nw 1) from nowhere near, 1999
Untitled (aot 4) from …and of time, 2000