Judith Barry

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Judith Barry in The Architect's Newspaper

Judith Barry in The Architect's Newspaper

7 July 2017

Review by Susan Morris Judith Barry's "Imagination, Dead Imagine" references horror films and J.G. Ballard in The Architect's Newspaper.

You enter a dark room illuminated only by a 10-foot-high rectangular cube comprised of four green-framed video monitors showing a face in close-up from all sides—facing forward, back of head, and both sides featuring the right and left ears (a 5th view could be seen from above, showing the top of the head), all above a mirrored surface where your reflected legs continue the bodyline. An androgynous, blue-eyed Caucasian with very regular features, bowed lips, and dark short hair has gelatinous liquid in a succession of yellow, red, brown, milky clear, and red-turning-to-greenish-yellow with small bits of debris, all simulating bodily fluids, poured onto it from above in a wash. A crinkly digital line clears the frame between each pour. At various points, crickets crawl and eat liquid off the face. Flaky white oats are sprinkled. Worms crawl and tumble down the face. There’s a flour snowstorm. Then the footage goes in reverses and the debris flows up. Throughout, we hear breathing sounds...

Judith Barry on FRIEZE.COM

Judith Barry on FRIEZE.COM

20 June 2017

Review by David Geers on FRIEZE.COM.

Given the figure’s recent return in painting, it’s striking how little mention has been made of its appearance (and decomposition) in abject art of the 1990s. The omission may be purposeful: why dwell on the body’s oozy corporeality when smartphone screens offer confectionary distractions from the abject body in daily news – from tragic images of drowned refugees, victims of war, terrorism, gun violence and police brutality? Then again, perhaps this makes reexamining the abject all the more urgent today.

Consider Judith Barry’s imagination: dead imagine (1991/2017), named after Samuel Beckett’s last and shortest novel. Re-installed at Mary Boone, the massive, minimalist cube confronts the viewer with four views of a large head, projected atop its mirrored base. The face of this nameless, androgynous protagonist – a digital composite of a male and a female actor – remains impassive despite successive defilements, dispensed by some off-screen agent until an animated video wipe washes it clean and the process begins anew...