Imagination, dead imagine, by Judith Barry, 1991

Judith Barry, Artist
Imagination, dead imagine , 1991

5-channel video installation with mirror, wood, and rear-projection screen, color, sound
120 x 120 x 120 in. (304.8 x 304.8 x 304.8 cm)
Credit Line
Courtesy of the artist; Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles; and Galerie Karin Sachs, Munich. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; photography by Brian Forrest

Imagination, dead imagine's construction as a cube is a reference to one of minimalism's most recognizable forms. In place of minimalism's ostensibly cerebral tidiness, however, Barry foregrounds the pointedly abject: several times throughout the video, viscous materials—reminiscent of blood, urine, and other bodily fluids—are poured from above onto a series of human heads, drenching and coating them. Borrowing its title from a story by Samuel Beckett about a couple trapped together in a room, Barry's work evokes a similar suffocation.