In the Shadow of the City... Vam p r y, 1985

Media installation, Variable dimensions

In the Shadow of the City... Vamp r y is an ironic postmodern reinterpretation of the myth of the vampire as a symbol of the insatiable thirst for images. The installation is accompanied by an electronic music score and fragments of sixteenth century religious choral music. The slide projections show images of urban architectures at night, while the videos show domestic and outdoor scenes. One side of the installation features images of a city at night. The streets are empty, and we see the lights in the window of apartment blocks.

The videos on this side show close-ups of people who look at the spectator behind what seem to be Venetian blinds, in a disconcerting interplay of gazes. On the other side of the installation, the videos show the interior of the home of a well-off family, an executive returning home from work, and his dysfunctional relationship with his children. Meanwhile, the slides show images of the Bronx district in New York at night, with abandoned buildings in the moonlight that are reminiscent of Giorgio de Chirico paintings, Aldo Rossi drawings and scenes from Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

The profusion of images and sounds that do not come together as a single narrative, and the fact that the spectator has to move from one side of the installation to the other, provokes disorientation and a sense of distance and alienation. In this contemporary fable on the myth of the vampire, the use of slides, video and audio creates an architectural space that challenges conventional spatial relationships and, at the same time, offers a reflection on public space, privacy, urban life and control.

Technical details

Original title:
In the Shadow of the City... Vam p r y
Registration number:
Barry, Judith
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Media installation
Projection of slides and video on double-faced screen, colour, sound, loop
Variable dimensions
Edition number:
Ed. 1/5
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
© Judith Barry
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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In the Shadow of the City... Vam p r y
In the Shadow of the City... Vam p r y
In the Shadow of the City... Vam p r y
In the Shadow of the City


FONS ÀUDIO #17. Judith Barry