Artists on Rhythm: Uta Barth

Lauren Henkin, Titled Arc , January 26, 2015

For me, rhythm has always played an important role in photography. From the rocking of a developing tray, to a staccato exhibition installation, to the careful pacing of a finely edited photobook, rhythm affects so much in this medium.


We asked Uta Barth, an artist that has focused on what we experience in the periphery, moments that pass without particular attention, to comment on the role of rhythm in her photographs. Her work, and how she presents the photographs, reference the subtle unperceived rhythms that live in the subconscious.


" For seventeen years I have made work that consists of sequences in order to talk about the passage of time while looking at things that don’t change much at all. The strategy is about duration, and about vision for vision’s sake. Nothing much changes in these sequences except maybe the light or a slight turn of the camera in order to follow it.

I want to slow the viewer down. I want a slow rhythm from image to image and from work to work when the pieces are installed for exhibition. Slowing down the viewer is hard at a time when people race through exhibitions. But I watch people in my shows, watch many of them move slowly, return to the beginning of a sequence, circle the room once again. Viewers who are not art writers talk about my work as being quiet, being slow and being calm. I think that is only one aspect of the work, but I always find myself smiling when I hear it."