Ocular Visions, 2010

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Ridgefield, Connecticut

Photographic Duraclears in Front Entrance windows, Rear Exit windows, LCD video installation
20' x 30' overall
Photographic Duraclears and Tinted Film in Rear Exit windows
30" diameter of tinted film
Duraclear over convex LCD video lightboxes in Camera Obscura Room
8' x 9' overall

Jo Yarrington's Ocular Visions is a sustained meditative response to the act--and art--of seeing. Inspired by The Aldrich Museum's permanently installed camera obscura, the piece permeates the walls and windows of the Museum's Leir Atrium as well as the camera obscura itself. It transforms each space into a living, breathing organism, blood coursing through its veins, as it constantly morphs and reacts to the outside elements.

Through her partnership with TOPCON, a leading developer and manufacturer of ophthalmic instruments, Yarrington's Ocular Visions depicts extremely magnified images of her retina, the very site of vision in her body. Blown up into an enormous color transparency and arrayed as a mosaic on the Museum's atrium windows, her retinal scan becomes a vast stained glass window-- a fiery sun when seen from outside, backlit by the Museum's lights at night, while an intense red spills into the building's interior with the afternoon sun. In turn, The Aldrich becomes a vessel that light simultaneously passes through and fills.

This constant shifting of the work over time is pivotal to the experience. Yarrington's piece draws out the complexity of vision-- the relationship between the external world, the lens through which we see it, and the nerves and brain, which receive and process the vision. We all learn to see, but most of us never learn how we see.

Harry Philbrick

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum