Vacuuming in a Vacuum, 2009
Video Still ( performative Film), Plastic, Rubber, Fiberglass, Silicone., 6m 38s, Dimensions Variable
Based on the notion of a Bruegel-like prophetic horror, Barry has manipulated the Housewife into a Shelleyesque creature. She has manifested as a half-human half-vacuum cleaner, floating in an un-natural way in a zero-gravity vacuum. This future depiction of horror was also accompanied by a series of sculptural objects based on further notions of domestic dystopias.
In 2008 the artist undertook an Arts Council of Ireland-funded project to shoot a film in zero gravity. This project involved a residency at NASA Kennedy Space Centre, where she underwent parabolic flights in the Astronaut Training Programme. The outcome of this residency was the film Vacuuming in a Vacuum.
The uncanny is familiar, yet strange; it often creates cognitive dissonance within the experiencing subject due to its
paradoxical ability to simultaneously invoke attraction and repulsion, fascination and intimidation. This cognitive
dissonance often leads to slippage between initial perception and subsequent evaluation. The artist explores these issues in a
playful manner often using humour to entice the viewer.
Barry tends to engage with the instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange, sometimes amusing, but often threatening.