Judith Barry | All The Light That’s Ours to See at Lumiar Cité

Judith Barry’s “All the light that’s ours to see,” 2018-2020. (Courtesy of the artist)
ACT at MIT

Professor and ACT Director Judith Barry has a research-based art practice that spans a range of media and disciplines, including installation, architecture/exhibition design, film/video, performance and dance, sculpture, photography, and digital media. Her exhibition at Lumiar Cité (Lisbon, Portugal) constitutes the international premiere of a two-channel immersive installation.

All the light that’s our to see is an elegiac meditation on our changing viewing habits and how we are being transformed by the evolving forms of media surrounding us. The displacement of Mr. Kim’s infamous New York video stores and his quest to find a home for his 55,000 films is the catalyst for this two-channel installation that explores how architecture, the long history of technological inventions, as well as art and media histories have affected us and the ways in which we engage with media, and by extension with each other.

The emergence of home video saw a metamorphosis in audience viewing conventions that departed from the collective cinematic tradition – where the experience of watching with others in the dark, seated next to strangers is an integral part of this process – and began to form its own uses for new typologies of social space (video games, social media, and home surveillance), radically altering our notions of shared collective engagement by revolutionizing it through the spatialization of unforeseen forms of digital and online media.

Visually, this project is a palimpsest of images presented across two screens that cinematically interrogates viewing spaces from the medieval period to present-day media environments. The physical array of the cinematic surround and its location-specific installation allows the viewer to slip between these historical moments and question the changing social situations they have encouraged, alongside the relationships among lost media histories, and ever-evolving emerging audience behaviors.

The exhibition was designed by architect Ken Saylor.

All the light that’s ours to see is on view from September 19 – November 22, 2020.