Tina Barney (American, Born 1945), “swimming”
1991. Chromogenic color print, 10 7/8 x 13 15/16” (27.7 x 35.4 cm).
Selected By Rachel Kessler
Barney’s image is simple and orderly. The focus is placed on a young girl in a swimming pool. Her arms are fanned out above the water with her eyes squinted closed as if she is in pain. Her mouth is not screaming for help but no clues are given on her status. Surrounding her the water is rippled showing she had just jumped in. Blurry in the foreground there is a figure in a red coat with her hand reaching towards to girl. These potent gestures draw in the viewer. Lack of other people in the frame causes tension, a sense of emergency. What could have happened? This image is anxious. The hard blacks, deep reds, and vast turquoise water make the eye jump from subject to subject with no flow. This moment is ambiguous leaving the interpretation to the viewer. Barney’s gift to capture carefully prepared charged moments shows true through this unique image.