Uta Barth
[Photographer, b. 1958, Berlin, lives in Los Angeles.]

 I have never been interested in making a photograph that describes what the world I live in looks like, but I am interested in what pictures (of the world) look like. 
 Everything is pointing to one’s own activity of looking, to an awareness and sort of hyper-consciousness of visual perception. The only way I know how to invite this experience is by removing the other things (i.e., subject matter) for you to think about. 
 My work never directly addresses the literal subject matter of the photograph, but attempts to ask questions about vision itself. 
 Specificity of time and place drop away and one starts to think about the picture, as much as what it is of. 
 On the most obvious level, we all expect photographs to be pictures of something. We assume that the photographer observed a place, a person, an event in the world and wanted to record it, point at it. There is always something that motivated the taking of a photograph. The problem with my work is that these images are really not of anything in that sense, they register only that which is incidental and peripherally implied. 
 I am interested in the conventions of picture-making, in the desire to picture the world and in our relationship, our continual love for and fascination with pictures. 
 I keep trying to find ways to shift the viewer’s attention away from the object they are looking at and toward their own perceptual process in relation to that object. The question for me always is: how can I make you aware of your own activity of looking, instead of losing your attention to thoughts about what it is that you are looking at?