Sam Jury: Coerced Nature is a series of video installations presented in the newly renovated Lee Gallery and on campus. Jury’s subjects are as specific as the fraught relationship between human beings and our environments, natural and architectural, and as general as the psychological impact of screen-based technologies on our perception of what is real. She melds staged, fragmented performances with eerily familiar yet unrecognizable places, creating impossible, emotionally layered scenes. The work hovers outside a specific time, location or even artistic genre while feeling utterly contemporary.
On view are works newly created for the exhibition, such as The Approach 4 (2012) and Three Parts Against (2013), as well as earlier pieces, including Over for the Day (2009) and About Nowhere (2010), projected onto sculptural forms, walls, windows, and small boxes, with some work intervening on Brandeis’ public spaces. In addition to installations proportioned to specific gallery spaces, a large projection appears in a window of the Shapiro Campus Center, and tiny screens surprise in unexpected nooks of the university libraries.
According to curator Dabney Hailey, “While Jury’s body of work includes painting, photography, performance and video, Coerced Nature focuses on her video installations, which marry elements of all these mediums. The artist refers to her video work as sitting between ‘trauma and rapture,’ between passive and active gazes, and between isolation and voyeurism. These ambivalences—which in many ways characterize the digital age—cohere in Jury’s charged, entrancing works of art.”