Part of an extensive body of work made between 1969 and 1975, these unique works demonstrate Bark’s innovative and experimental use of a prosaic and restricted photographic format to explore a wide range of artistic concerns from performance to seriality, minimalism, and abstraction.
Bark’s earliest photobooth pieces explored the marginal public/private space of photo booths found in subways, Woolworths and Times Square arcades throughout New York City. During this time, he was active as a performance artist with New York’s Downtown Scene, appearing in pieces by legendary choreographer Trisha Brown and the Grand Union. In 1972, Bark acquired a photo booth for his studio and began to actively explore the limits of experimentation within the confinements of the booth’s cramped space and his inability to alter the lens, shutter speed or format. Treating the booth as a private theater and a tiny studio space, Bark enacted performances, using his body as a ground for painting or his arms as an element with which to simulate sine waves or geometric forms. Given their sequential nature, some images take on a cinematic quality, occupying a unique position between photography and film, heightened by the interplay of movement and stasis. The artist’s interest in questions of built-in constraints, chance procedures and authorship echo contemporaneous artistic movements.
Born in 1944, Jared Bark featured early in his career in Harold Szeeman's 1969 seminal exhibition, When Attitudes Become Form, at the Kunsthalle Bern. Subsequently, Bark’s work has been featured in exhibitions at numerous international institutions including Tate Modern; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Musée de l’Élysée, Lausanne, Switzerland; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. His work can be found in numerous public collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The Guggenheim, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery, London; National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Bark’s monograph Photobooth Pieces, was published by Hunter’s Point Press in 2016.