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Archie Barry
Scaffolding (Preface)

Archie Barry – Scaffolding (Preface)

Archie Barry is a Naarm (Melbourne)-based artist working in performance and video. Their recent video, Scaffolding (Preface), is premised on an imagined society of children who have evolved a fugitive mode of non-lingual communication in order to evade contemporary and late-modern conditions of surveillance. Joining footage of microscopic organisms, rock pools and construction sites, an elusive ‘narrator’ – the vibrant, 3D-animated cranial persona glimpsed at the close of the video – vocalises without a prefrontal cortex. This character is both a figure of wonder and an agent of evasion, eluding the ubiquitous technologies of facial recognition. While many of Barry’s works explore presence and self-portraiture through the affective and sensorial potential of the body, prostheses and voice, Scaffolding (Preface) celebrates the self-determined and embodied possibilities of vocalising and listening. 

This project has been funded by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) and the Australia Council for the Arts. It was originally presented in the exhibition Language is a River at MUMA in 2021, curated by Melissa Ratliff and Hannah Mathews.

About the Artist

Born in 1990 and raised on the coastal regions of the Eora Nation/Sydney, Archie Barry is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Their work is autobiographical, somatic and process-led, spanning performance, video, music composition and writing. By cultivating a genealogy of personas based on their own experiences of power and mortality, they produce self-portraiture that troubles dominant notions of personhood and representation.

Barry has presented solo exhibitions at The Heide Museum of Modern Art (2020 – 2021) and Blindside Gallery (2019). Barry’s work has been presented in a range of group settings including at The Samstag Museum of Art (2022), The Monash University Museum of Art (2021 – 2022), The National Gallery of Victoria (2021, 2019), The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2022, 2020, 2018, 2017), The Museum of Contemporary Art (2019), Contemporary Art Tasmania (2019) amongst other spaces. They have given performance lectures and artist talks at The Centre for Contemporary Photography (2018), The National Gallery of Victoria (2022, 2019), Parsons and The New School (2018, 2020), Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2020) and Monash University Museum of Art (2019).

https://archiebarry.com/


Supporters

Presented in association with Perth Festival.

This project has been funded by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) and the Australia Council for the Arts. It was originally presented in the exhibition Language is a River at MUMA in 2021, curated by Melissa Ratliff and Hannah Mathews.

Image: Scaffolding (Preface), 2021, single-channel 4K video, stereo sound; 11 minutes 20 seconds, 3D modelling: Savannah Fleming, 3D animation: Ben Jones, image courtesy of the artist