Switch to desktop Register Login

Stories in the Dark - Ben Judd

Stories in the Dark, an exhibition curated by Ben Judd, includes work by Judd, Jordan Baseman, Adam Chodzko, Benedict Drew, Louisa Fairclough, Dryden Goodwin, Haroon MIrza, Lindsay Seers, Guy Sherwin.

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Cambridge.
Saturday 19th March - Saturday 19th June, 

This exhibition focuses on the magic lantern, a projection device invented in the 17th century which is often seen as a precursor to the cinema. Historically, magic lantern shows were the first time people saw projected moving images, and were used for storytelling, education, and entertainment. In profound contrast to our digital age in which the technology is largely incomprehensible, the magic lantern’s relatively simple analogue mechanisms and projected images paradoxically allow a sense of wonder, in which the viewer suspends disbelief and engages their imagination. Unlike the pre-recorded nature of cinema, the creative act takes place live with the audience, encouraging a sense of participation.

Stories in the Dark brings together artists who are responding to the medium as both gallery installations and in a programme of performances on 16th April. To provide an historical context, also on display are vintage magic lanterns, slides and related archival material.
As well as the Special Exhibitions Room some work is also embedded within the Beaney’s unique permanent collections of artefacts and artworks, which provide an ideal context. The Victorian museum’s obsession with collecting and categorising objects from around the world can be seen reflected in the lantern’s use as a tool for bringing the distant, often ‘exotic’ and unseen world into close contact with the public; indeed the nineteenth century saw an historical overlapping in the development of the empirical and scientific with the irrational and mystical. It is this relationship between the distant and the near, between the unknown and the known, that lies at the heart of the exhibition.

The exhibition is a co-commission by the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge and Whitstable Biennale. 

With special thanks to: David Francis and Joss Marsh, Kent Museum of the Moving Image; Nicholas Hiley, University of Kent; Jeremy Brooker; Mervyn Heard; Nottingham Trent University.

A day of performances on 16 April will include Barnyard Productions, Jeremy Brooker andLamplighters, Louisa Fairclough, Ben Judd, David Francis and Joss Marsh, Nicole Mollett and Frog Morris.


More information:

Last modified on