Random Acts special guests: Spotlight on artist and writer Judith Barry
11 October 2012
Having devoted much of her work to the themes of public address,
representation and varying conceptions of art in popular culture,
Judith will be sharing her perspective on global broadcast and the
future of the artist in an increasingly mediated world.
Judith's body of work crosses multiple disciplines, from film and video to performance, installation, sculpture, architecture, photography and new media. Starting out in performance art in the late 70s, Judith emerged from an art world hugely influenced by the post-modernity fuelled by the likes of Derrida and Foucault. Judith notes this period as a crucial time in her career, having originally studied architecture, but returning to study at art school at just the right time to absorb these powerful influences that have driven much of her work. Judith talks about her influences and career in a lecture at MIT
In her survey exhibition, titled The Body Without Limits, Judith presented work in a variety of mediums exploring concepts of identity and construction of self. In the first of these works, Study for Mirror and Garden, Judith created a large scale installation of screens and mirrors onto which images and videos were projected, based on a Moorish garden from the 1492 story of La Celestia, a twisted Spanish love story. In this exhibit people were invited to walk between the screens, becoming part of the image reflected and placing the viewer as a participant in the mysterious scene. Art in America has reviewed this exhibition as has Andrea Heister.
Voice Off, an earlier installation, also saw viewers invited into the work. Consisting of a double projection on either side of a wall that separates the space into two rooms, a barely visible curtain allowed people to pass through the screen into either side of the work. In each room, the contrasting video content interacts and affects the content in the other room, as if by default of the architecture. A man working in an office in one video, for example, becomes irritated at the sound of people relaxing and talking in a video from the other room.
Like much of Judith's work, Voice Off and Study for Mirror and Garden strike up questions of social space and how this interacts with physical space. The consistent use of architecture in her work is particularly interesting in the context of broadcast in a virtual world. It is interesting to contemplate how Judith sees the relationship between the physical and the virtual in her work - how does the world of self-dissemination and online broadcast change the way we view physical structures and spaces?
The questions presented by these tensions are ripe for discussion. Be a part of the conversation and find out how Judith perceives social space in the context of global broadcast at the Random Acts event at FACT on 26 October. Other speakers include Channel 4's Commissioning Editor for Arts Tabitha Jackson, artist Marisa Olson and co-founder of Ant Farm Chip Lord.
Tickets are £10 / £8 (FACT Members & concs), you can book yours online, by calling 0871 902 5737 or in person at the FACT Box Office.