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Model for Stage and Screen, 1986

First exhibited Pieroni Gallery, Rome, 1987

Light and fog are projected in a room in which two identical disks are suspended such that the viewer stands between them. Even though you can see precisely how this work functions, you are still subject to its (retinal) effects on your vision. As you leave the room, thinking you will regain control of your vision, you do not, instead, you see another color. This work demonstrates two of the many ways you cannot trust what you see as well as how you are not in control of your vision. In this sense, you become a projector.

The act of looking and the question of how we see were the genesis of Model for Stage and Screen. The structure, based in the precarity of 16th-century European anatomy theaters, also recalls cinema. Two mythical constructions about how ‘the gaze’ might be internalized are conjoined within an actual inhabitable space that leads out of the spectacle and into spectatorship. This ‘gaze’ is above all else privileged – before action, before decision.

These two constructs are suggestive of two acts where the desire to look and for the look to continue might cross the desire for an end to looking, and for something of its past to take its place.

One prior action is the insistence of the gaze of Orpheus as he descends into the underworld and transgresses by looking back at Eurydice, and where, at this moment of
forgetting, what was once most longed for, is now irretrievably lost. The other is Oedipus, who only as newly blind is able reconcile the truth of the riddle he solved as
the misrecognition of what he himself is.

So it is that these two moments cross each other:
the Orphic moment – the impetus for looking; and the Oedipal –the moment of insight.

Related publications:

Model for Stage and Screen, Judith Barry, Download Link

Judith Barry & the Space of Fantasy, Brian Wallis, Link

Articulate Spatial Projections, Gary Sangster, Link

Casual-Shopper, Judith Barry, Download Link

Spectacle & Subjectivity, Johanna Drucker, Download Link

Judith Barry_Artist_Model-for-Stage_and_Screen_Installation.jpg

Interior view and exterior view showing the antichamber and the door

Judith Barry_Artist_diagram-model-for-stage-and-screen

Drawing of the structure


Installation view of the Topologies of the Real Techne Shenzhen 2023 exhibtion / Museum of Contemporary Art / Urban Planning, Shenzhen China

Video of the installation

Judith Barry_Artist_Model-for-Stage_and_Screen_Installation.jpg

Exterior view and interior view showing the antichamber and the door

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