Judith G. Levy

(image detail from TEARING, complete work in the Installation section)

I grew up in a suburb of New York City with a large, extended, Jewish family nearby. I was influenced by a familial tradition of questioning political institutions, cultural traditions, and formal history with intensity and poignant concerns. All discussions were layered with a tenuous sense of belonging to a country that was fraught with racism and anti-Semitism. Pronouncements frequently occurred at the dinner table, holiday celebrations, and while watching the nightly news, and issues were revisited regularly. I was both enthralled and frightened by the impassioned opinions, concerns, and anxieties expressed by family members, and I was struck by how much they believed in tikun olam, the Hebrew concept that that the world can be repaired. As my own queerness began to center my work, my lens became clearer and more confident, while I embraced my identity. It separated me, in part, from my family of origin and required that I find a solid path of my own for criticism and care.
My videos, photographs, performances, two-dimensional work, and installations explore complexity, commonality and contradiction in personal stories, historical narratives, social issues, and environmental concerns. I reconfigure and describe departures from traditional understandings to suggest new meanings. As I often work in in multiples and series to establish different understandings and shifts in perspective. My use of repetition is one way I try to destabilize commonly held beliefs and explore how traditional assumptions are shaped and revised. Revelations poke through the cracks of reexamination and re-telling, and concepts of identity are often center stage.