In a 1978 interview Robert Barry explained that in his slide works, “my point is to allow a word to be itself.” This slide projection comprises twenty text-based slides that each features a single noun that reflects an abstract concept rich with potential meaning. The slides progress slowly and are punctuated by both blank slides and those featuring a large blue circle, introducing a rhythm of visual and cognitive pauses between words. This pacing prevents the words from being read as literature or narrative, making it impossible to assign a precise, contextually based meaning to each word. By projecting each word directly on the wall of the exhibition space, Barry allows viewers to concentrate on the visual and formal aspects of these fragments of language, dimensions usually overlooked in the process of reading.
Label from Looking at Tomorrow: Light and Language from The Panza Collection, 1967–1990, October 24, 2015–February 7, 2016