Loveseat: Joey Orr with Judy Barber

Loveseat, a monthly audio series for BURNAWAY Radio, features artists talking with their favorite people in the intimate StoryCorps studio at the Atlanta History Center. BURNAWAY’s published excerpts from Loveseat conversations seek to expand our understanding of how artists live, think, and make art in Atlanta. A wild and ever-growing document, Loveseat captures personal histories, local histories, relationships, communities, obsessions, quandaries, plans, processes, coincidences, jokes, and secrets—all with equal enthusiasm.

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Joey Orr, Untitled (William’s Letter), 2007, digital collage. “The piece mixes archival artifacts with my contemporary reception of the memories.”

The only two rules of a Loveseat edit are:  1) It cannot total more than 7 minutes (of a 40 minute conversation) and 2) the excerpts cannot stray chronologically from the order in which they were spoken. Having played by these rules a few times, and again here with Joey Orr and Judy Barber, I’ve begun to have a nagging suspicion about what’s easy to keep in (those beautiful bursts of certainty) and what often gets lost in too many proper nouns and narrative tangles (what’s not yet figured out).  I am excited about Joey and Judy because they know a lot, together and on their own, but also because each claims to still be figuring it out, which means that a few gems are missing from this edit, for sure.

Though both boldly imagination- and possibility-driven, Joey and Judy are two artists who do not fear absolutes.  As you’ll hear, at least two magical things are 100 percent true of their friendship: 1) Both are always deeply present for the other and 2) they have each been in “total and complete and radical transition” the entire time they’ve known each other.  No exceptions.

Click the player above to listen, or download the MP3.

Joey Orr holds an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is an ABD Arts and Sciences Fellow at Emory University’s Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts. His dissertation,  Practicing the Past: Socially Engaged Remembering in Contemporary Art, looks at cooperative memorial practices at the intersection of memory studies and art history. Orr is also a founding member of the idea collective, John Q. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal for Artistic Research (Bern, Switzerland), and his curatorial work has focused almost exclusively on installation and public intervention, from alternative and grassroots venues to museum, commercial, and municipal exhibition spaces. Past projects have been reviewed by Art Papers, Art in America, ARTnews, Contemporary (UK), Public Art Review and Sculpture magazine, among others.

Judy Barber is an artist / arts administrator.  She exhibited at Heath Gallery in Atlanta for 25 years. She had numerous one-woman exhibitions there and at galleries as far away as Hong Kong.  She had a solo show at the High Museum of Art in the early 1980s. Barber works are in numerous museums and private and corporate collections, including the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, the High Museum of Art (works on paper) in Atlanta, AT&T, Bell South, Emory University Cannon Chapel and Marriot. After serving on the board of directors of the Hambidge Center in 1990, she served as executive director for 10 years. During that time, a variety of its programs  were dropped, and she focused exclusively on creating the Hambidge Center residency program as it is known today. The center grew from being relatively unknown to hosting artists from five continents in one year, and being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and many other foundations and individuals. Barber served on the board of the Alliance of Artists Communities for six years. She has been executive director of the LaGrange Art Museum, the Madison Morgan Cultural Center, the Serenbe Institute and the Sautee Nacoochee Center.   


Loveseat theme music courtesy of Adna Moraia.

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BURNAWAY is a community partner of StoryCorps Atlanta. StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives.

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BURNAWAY Radio is supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts.

 


 

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Comment(1)

  • Lisa A.
    January 18, 2014 at

    What a pleasure to eavesdrop on these two fabulous people as they quickly weave from one idea to another. The transitions in conversation are an art in tthemselves, with the idea of being’present’a constant, as is their support of each other.

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