All That Ends Well
All That Ends Well, 2010 ( excerpt ) Single channel, continuous loop video with sound
Sam Jury’s work examines how we, as consumers and spectators, read documentation and events through photography and film and how memory and reality are constantly mediated by visual mass communication. In response to this, her work focuses on constructing compressed or ‘panoptic’ images created by combining a multitude of moving and still imagery to form one single work; using photography and video as a means of absorbing the world at large.
All of her work originates from documented performances or directed actions, often sited in overwhelming or unsettling environments and yet in a context that is ostensibly nostalgic. Visually, her work explores the connection between film and painting and references a multitude of genres from Vermeer to science fiction. Thematically, these concerns are split between constructed scenes of rituals/performance in oppressive space or oversized ‘portraits’ made of multiple identities that negate any attempt to either represent or create a specific likeness. In both cases, the human presence is simultaneously a ‘blank’ without identity and a hybrid or ‘every-person’ that is both someone and no one.
‘All That Ends Well’ is a continuous loop video shot in the basement corridors of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. A building that once housed a military hospital owned the British at the height of its colonial power. The location was selected because of the connotations of ritualistic, repetitive and often pointless acts facilitated by dominant institutions. The figure, deliberately stripped of specific identifiable traits and mostly obscured in darkness, can be read as both the passive subject or active aggressor, in which case the viewer then becomes subject. More universally ‘All That Ends Well’ references a continuous descent and the existential paradox of hope.