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Sam Jury (UK)

Disjecta Membra 006, Lambda Photographic Print, 101 x 124 cm, 2006

Sam Jury’s work explores the psychological implications of being a spectator and consumer, conditioned to technologies that separate us from reality. Through the choice of digital media for the production of her work, Jury leads us to question the veracity of what we see presented to us in photographic mass media. By interweaving found imagery from a range of sources with her own staged shoots, she creates constructed photographs and videos that depict a type of person or event. Although the actual image is fake and so devoid of time and place, the aim is to achieve something that looks or feels familiar - employing visual lies to obtain a psychological truth.

Jury’s work starts with the search for the near impossible: subjects and places without obvious context or reference. In search of ambiguous yet imposing environments, she travels around visiting places such as religious institutions, aircraft hangers, abandoned airstrips and deserted museums. The search for people as subjects for her work is equally challenging. Again she looks for particular qualities, for instance groups of people sharing a common appearance or those who are unaccustomed to posing. Although every shoot is scripted, work is frequently made from the footage taken between the shoots, the incidental and the raw. During the final editing stage, she scans and digitally introduces elements from her library of collected imagery and film, an act that further dislocates context and ultimately blurs the boundaries between filmic conventions.

In her recent series of large-scale photographic portraits, she depicts an extreme exaggeration of the stereotypes presented through Western advertising and glossy media. In other performance-based works, she creates a ‘panoptic’ image that contains multiple readings by condensing hundreds of subtle elements from her visual surroundings into one picture. All of her work is fabricated and staged, and therefore nothing is in evidence of a real time or place. Crucially, it sits somewhere between.


Sam Jury born in St Albans / UK, lives and works in Cambridge and London / UK


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