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PRINT Summer 1991

A RARE KIND OF DREAD: A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

ROBERT YARBER TOUCHES an embarrassing subject in his photographic sequence A Rare Kind of Dread. As Roland Barthes asserts in his book Fragments d’u n discours amoureux (Fragments of a lover’s discourse), love’s sentimentality has been discredited by modern opinion, leaving the amorous subject alone and exposed: “By a reversal of values . . . it is this sentimentality which today constitute’s love’s obscenity.”

Yarber, like Barthes, will not let us escape the uncomfortable voyeurism of witnessing the most trite expression of love’s sentimentality—the the powerful transgression of the obscene. We find ourselves, like impotent observers, living the same obsessions as the characters—the unrealizable desire for the other, the difficulty of commitment, a subtle and impalpable violence, vertigo.

Yarber’s sequence is based on a succession of approaches and separations of the amorous subjects, in

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