"Cover the window, please. These mountains give me no ideas.’’
Wendy Judge’s practice is committed to armchair travel and the authentic experience; the touristic frontier and the anomalous within the landscape.
Her projects are about journeys never actually taken, or based upon hearsay.
Drawn from someone else’s tales as well as someone else’s research, the subjects are factually disconnected, hinged together across territories by the literary and the cinematic. Judge’s work questions what is meant or understood as real, in the same terms as Franz Kafka’s Amerika, where the author wrote without ever having visited the country in question. Indeed, so armed with unsubstantiated evidence of a place, we may find that the armchair experience and third-hand information is at least of as much practical use as first-hand experience in understanding any contemporary reality.
As E M Forester wrote, of a place where machines had taken the place of the general business of every day life and the natural earth had become redundant, even as a place to contemplate and refresh the mind;
"Beware of first- hand ideas!" exclaimed one of the most advanced of them. "First-hand ideas do not really exist. They are but the physical impressions produced by life and fear, and on this gross foundation who could erect a philosophy? Let your ideas be second-hand, and if possible tenth-hand, for then they will be far removed from that disturbing element - direct observation.”
Quotes from E. M. Forester’s novella The Machine Stops (1909).