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DLR Lexicon Nov 2017

Slice, Vast, Deep

Aideen Barry


In the 1968 lecture, Des espaces autres, the philosopher and theorist Micheal Foucault ascribed spaces as fluid and often suspended between function and reality. He coined the phrase

Heteratopia as a means of categorising the ways these strange spaces can come together to function as in-between worlds. Foucault categorised numerous "in-betweens", namely Ships, Museums, Mirrors and Zoos as heteratopic spaces that are one world whilst at the same time representing or being many different kinds of worlds. Libraries too fall into this category. This building you have entered physically takes you onto this reality, but it simultaneously can take you to a different world purely by the action of picking up a portal that sits on one of the many thousands of  shelves housed within this massive structure. It acts as a type of physical and psychological telescope, Projecting out whilst also folding up in on itself. Its function is to support civic access, with an egalitarian idea of openness, knowledge and access for all. It also looks out to Sea, as it sits facing a world on the precipice, a space on the edge, and a world turning upside down. This in-between space bears witness to travellers coming in and heading beyond the reach of our horizon line, of those safe within and those travelling for one reason or another.


Slice, Vast, Deep. The title for this show is coined from three words that require expression to formulate them. The word Vast for example conjures up an "intimate immensity" to quote Gaston Bachelard; you cannot say this word without taking a breath to express it. This body of work created by Barry takes the idea of Micro & Macro and merges them together to try to visualise a sense of otherness, a sense of heterotopic inbetweeness. The artist has taken a breath in and expresses it out through a language of visually sublime and awesome moving image and lens based works. Playing with surrealism, alternative facts and visual fictions she has concocted a topography of the elsewhere, bending scale, time, light, function and perceived verity. The result is a series of multimedia artworks that ask us to question our ideas of perception and what is truth.

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