This exhibition debuts British artist Sam Jury’s new project, To Be Here, which develops from her time spent with exiled Sahrawi refugees near Tindouf, Algeria. Filmed over the course of a two-week residency, Jury used hand-held cameras to document the daily lives of individuals in the extreme conditions of the camps. The improvised nature of these vignettes is grounded by an audio recording of a young female resident, who considers what the future may hold for the residents there—while also revealing a growing generational divide. For its presentation at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Jury deconstructs the original linear form of the film to create a multi-channel video and sound installation that will place the viewer at the heart of the work. 

Throughout her career Sam Jury has focused her attention on the psychological impact of photographic and moving images and how their ubiquity shapes our understanding of self and society. For several years she has been working around the thematic of “suspended trauma”a concern which informed her approach to filming To Be Here. Recent major solo exhibitions include All Things Being Equal at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and Coerced Nature at the Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA. Jury has also been featured in a number of major group exhibitions at the Broad MSU, including In Search of Time, Global Groove: 1975–2012, and Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965–2015. The artist is represented by Stephen Haller Gallery, New York.

Sam Jury: To Be Here is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curator. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Broad MSU’s general exhibitions fund. Special thanks to the residents of Boujdour Camp, notably Tagla Lamna and Omar Tijanie Mustafa, and to Rob Godman for his masterful sound design of the exhibition. Support for the project was provided by Encuentros Internacionales de Arte y Derechos Humanos del Sahara Occidental—ARTIFARITI, funded by the Ministerio de Cultura de La República Árabe Saharaui Democrática (RASD).