EAST LANSING, MICH.- The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
at Michigan State University (Broad MSU) is presenting new work from filmmaker and artist Sam Jury in her first solo exhibition at the museum. To Be Here opened on May 14 and closes November 27, 2016. To Be Here is a video and sound installation that focuses on Sahrawi refugees living in the Boujdour Camp near Tindouf, Algeria, made with the help of local residents over the course of a two-week residency. The never-before-seen installation is composed of four different perspectives, each detailing the interior spaces of the camp where residents habitually shelter from the extreme environmental conditions. Intermittently, the voice of a young female resident who was born in the camps fades in and out as she reveals her growing frustration with the static nature of life there. Due to the difficult working and living conditions, Jury was forced to film quickly with minimal equipment, which adds to the spontaneous and atmospheric qualities of the film.
To Be Here brings attention to one of the longest running refugee crises in the modern world. In 1975, the Sahrawi people were forced to flee their homeland in the Western Sahara after the end of Spains colonial rule. It was during this period of armed conflict that landed many Sahrawis in refugee camps. To this day, over 180,000 Sahrawis inhabit these camps, rejecting claims of Moroccan rule over their homelands and choosing instead a life of uncompromising resistance. At least half of the inhabitants of these camps have lived in this temporary situation for their entire lives. As Jury explains: beyond the bio-medical trauma of the refugee condition, and scarcity of commodities, exists an abiding malaise represented by the loss of both homeland and the right to selfdetermination.
To Be Here humanizes the global refugee crisis and brings attention to the daily realities of such situations, said the Broad MSUs assistant curator Steven L. Bridges. This exhibition demonstrates the Broad MSUs commitment to using art as a tool to explore international issues that connect us to both global and Greater Lansing communities, the latter of which is a supportive center for refugee resettlement.
Several of Jurys photos and videos were included in two of the Broad MSUs inaugural exhibitions, Global Groove and In Search of Time, both curated by founding director Michael Rush in 2012. Global Groove traveled to the Krannert Art Museum in 2014. Jurys The Approach (2012) was included in Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965-2015 at the Broad MSU, curated Caitlín Doherty and conceived by Michael Rush, in 2015.
Jury will travel to East Lansing in both May and September to participate in a range of programming and community engagement initiatives, with details to be announced at a later date. Jury will speak about her work at the Broad MSU on September 13.
Sam Jury: To Be Here is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curator.
Sam Jury explores the psychological impact of photographic and moving image and how its ubiquity shapes our understanding of self and society. Jury stages her works in range of formats including installation, intervention and large-scale projection. She often works collaboratively with partners from other disciplines such as composers, choreographers, writers and psychologists. For several years she has been working with the thematic of Suspended Trauma - unresolved events replayed through shared narratives often supported by screen technologies. In 2008, she showed the first works of this kind All Things Matter at the Blouin Institute, London. In 2010 she used her artist in residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin to continue this exploration, with the resultant work being exhibited in several shows, including Still and Still Moving at IMMA; Forever is Never, Herbert F Johnson Museum, New York; and Nothing is Lost at Stephen Haller Gallery, New York. Jury is a recipient of the Perlmutter Award and residency from the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, which culminated in the solo show Coerced Nature in 2013. In 2015 she participated in Moving Time: Video Art at 50, curated by Caitlín Doherty, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. She is represented by Stephen Haller Gallery, New York.