los-angeles

Uta Barth

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Like many of her post-conceptualist peers, Uta Barth is concerned with exploring and critiquing the ideological deceits of mediated information. This has become a somewhat stale practice in recent years. Raised on Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message,” nurtured by Jean Baudrillard’s “procession of simulacra,” and primed by feminist rereadings of Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory, many artists have come to accept deconstructive readings of all language as mediated chains of deferred meaning and desire. Earnest warnings of the crisis of representation through the reallegorization of the photographic image strike few sparks now that post-structuralism has become the academic mainstream of esthetic discourse and interpretation.

Barth’s added wrinkle to this scenario, however, is to redefine mediation as a two-way street, as a reciprocal exercise in voyeurism and control on the part

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