Judith Barry and …Cairo stories
Arabesque – Levant TV
Interview with Judith Barry at Whitechapel Gallery, London. Aired on Levant TV, Arabesque.
Conversation | Judith Barry
ArtBlitz Los Angeles
May 5, 2014
Not reconciled, is a series by Judith Barry that explores the construction of subjectivity, history and identity in countries and cultures around the world. In her latest rendition of that series…Cairo Stories,which was on view at Rosamund Felsen Gallery in April, Barry presents interviews with Cairene women from varying backgrounds. The stories the women tell focus on the negotiations they must make due to Cairo’s social, cultural and economic life. Conducted between 2003 and 2011, the interviews demonstrate the complex systems, allegiances and political stratas that Cairene women must navigate on a daily basis. Sometimes their stories feel un-relatable, as when Ayousha describes how “my husband died, and they wanted his brother to take me as another wife.” Other times their observations hit closer to home, as when Layla remarks, “We all have our shares in life, God willing…You got dealt your. I got mine. My sisters theirs…Everyone gets their share…But you got to make it what you can.” Either way, the more stories a viewer hears the more intimate a connection she feels toward these women, despite their diverse backgrounds.
Presented in both Arabic and English, by actors rather than the actual interviewees, there is something unsettling and poignant about watching the interviews, particularly in doing so within a pristine gallery setting. In listening to these women’s experiences notions of representation, allegiance, class, family history and subjectivity are brought to the fore. One cannot help but compare these women’s journeys to one’s own. The presence of the actors emphasizes the idea that a story, if it’s a good one, no matter how it’s told, can be highly emotionally impactful.
Though you missed the show at Bergamont Station three of Barry’s works are currently on view as part of the Hammer Museum’s exhibition Take It Or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology through May 18, 2014. Or you can read ArtBlitz LA’s interview at ArtBlitz Los Angeles.
On KCHUNG Radio, 1630 AM
April 13, 2014 at 8 pm, PST
To stream: See http://www.kchungradio.org/stream.html
Archive available on April 16, 2014 as …Cairo stories.
To access the archive, search KCHUNG by the air date: http://www.kchungradio.org/
March 22 through April 19, 2014
LA Art Party
Pick of the Week
Rosamund Felsen celebrates the work of Judith Barry.
LA Art Party – http://www.laartparty.com/index.php/56-picks-of-the-week/1516-saturday-march-22nd-2014
Santa Monica Exhibitions
Continuing her Not reconciled series where she investigates the construction of subjectivity, history and identity in countries and cultures around the world, Judith Barry presents videos and photographs at Rosamund Felsen Gallery from her latest series, …Cairo stories. Through collaboration with Cairene women from many different backgrounds, these stories focus on the negotiations women make across Cairo’s social, cultural and economic life and illuminate the complex systems, allegiances and political stratas that inform their daily lives. These interviews, conducted in Cairo between 2003 and 2011, took place in both English and Arabic, as do the stories on view in the gallery.
In exploring the experiences of Cairene women – Cairo being the center of the Middle East – notions of representation, history, and subjectivity are brought to the fore. These stories, retold by actors, underscore the fact that all stories, even ones we tell ourselves, are ultimately fictions, while maintaining the emotional impact of each of these individual woman’s life.
MA (Mutual Art) – http://www.mutualart.com/Exhibitions/Judith-Barry——-Cairo-stories/D2DAD3A489521F94#Info
Rosamund Felsen Press Release – Judith Barry 2014 (…Cairo stories) (Download PDF)