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Shrine to the Sugar God

Shrine to the Sugar God

Installation Shot (2016)

"The mobilisation of the objective arts and sciences at their apogee comes more and more to be unified around the planning and control of human activity." 

George Grant, Thinking About Technology

 

Human and material live in partnership where one is subject and the other is object.  Despite its materiality, an object carries with it the contextual history it was created in and a planned 

influence.  To change the influence of an object is to change the definition of what the object was created for.  It is not simply our actions that create rituals but the objects that participate and, in some cases, create indexical records of liturgy.  These objects then carry the physical evidence of a performance.  In religiosity they become symbols of the sacred, in materiality they become waste. The Dichotomy of this situation is depicted through the procedure of testing blood.  After a prick of a finger, the sanctity of the body is blended with functional technology in the pursuit of information.  Here ritualistic waste tarnished with rapine of the sacred creates a space in which the fused object can reveal the disunion of intended and imposed destinies.  After use, both the blood and technology are resolved to uselessness.  Through abstraction and symbolic effigy I allow these objects to dwell in the threshold between human and material.

Relational Aesthetics (2014)

Relational Aesthetics (2014)

Relational Aesthetics is a collaborative form of art
that deals with the interconnectedness of humans
through the act of achieving meaning through the
conscious action of the artist and the collaborators.
The beauty and art itself is in the moment of action
and harmonization between creator, collaborator
and spectator.

I entrusted 12 collaborators with hand-
drawn maps of the existing urban landscape of their

university campus, a saltshaker full of flour, an
explanation of mindful walking according to de
Certeau and Henry David Thoreau, and a pen.
Throughout their day they leave a trail of flour behind
them as they walked outside, allowing their past
presence in a space to be known to the spectators
who stumbled across their paths. Throughout the
day their actions and experiences were recorded in
a journal-like manner on their maps.
This project was greatly inspired by de
Certeau’s book “Everyday Life” in which he explains
that the places we occupy are fragments of our
history, pasts that we do not usually allow others to
read as we find them difficult to explain. Each
unique map shows a different person’s sense of
place and experience while walking the same
manufactured urban landscape. Though collectively
places may have recognized names, they may not
exist as such in our minds and can be renamed to
suit the meaning they hold in our stories.

Relational Aesthetics (2014)

Relational Aesthetics (2014)

By giving my collaborators an unusual task to accomplish while
walking, they temporarily became other to the natural urban flow
allowing every step they took to be purposeful and conscious. “To be other and move towards the other” is how de Certeau summarizes the act of walking, as it includes not only the interaction of a human to urban geography but also humans to one another and nature. Through the documentation of this process we are able to glimpse back at what once was and the stories we forget to tell.
Each map was installed in a cubby-hole with the collaborator’s pen and flour shaker. The University map was then drawn on a large
chalkboard with every participant's path traced onto a single map
allowing the participants to be viewed as a collective.

The places that exist in our presence are in a constant state of conflicting existence. They are both new and old, full of ambition but also degradation and possess a natural predisposition and a manufactured stylized existence.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister [Abbas Araqchi] and Journalists | November 10, 2013

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister [Abbas Araqchi] and Journalists | November 10, 2013

Oil on Canvas 36x36 (2015)

Contemporary portraiture places an extreme importance on the face and figure, it is of no surprise then that pop culture photography focuses on isolated figures and faces.  Backgrounds are blurred or plain so we are not distracted from what is important.  In contrast the candid is unable to separate itself from context as it cannot exist except within the space that photo is taken.  Because of this objects and unnecessary figures occasionally carry just as much gravity and sometimes more then the central subject.  In these cases, if not for the sticker like separation of the central focus of the figure, we may entirely forget the main subject of the photo.

Artist Elizabeth Payton focuses on portraiture through the view that a single person has the potential to change the world and in this way “is the receptacle of everything that is happening.”  However, in her pursuit of this Payton’s portraits make that person the entire receptacle and the world around them either revolves around them or is simplified.

My paintings stem from a refusal to believe that a person holds and maintains a finite amount of power over their lifetime.  It feels so odd to think because I can do this you cannot or because this person “holds more” they demand more respect and noterietay than this person.  In our lives we all hold momentary potential for complete power at different moments.  Based on the traditional decision making scale when I yield to you I give you some of my power and you gain what I have lost.  When I walk into the background I become erased or simplified, therefore against this principle in my painting I find nothing unimportant.  At any time a person has the potential to do the unexpected and the world surrounding them has the ability to effect these decisions.  These paintings are by assumptions ordinary, but they are also snapshots of stories with infinite possibilities. 

 

Conffrini, Fabrice. Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (C) is surrounded by journalists following a press conference after a day of talks on Iran's nuclear programme, on November 10, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.  2013.

Sublime Landscapes for the Outsider Artist - Amsterdam

Sublime Landscapes for the Outsider Artist - Amsterdam

Acrylic Paint, Pastel, Graphite, Conte, Charcoal, Pencil Crayon, Photo Transfer, Tea, Coffee, Pen on Paper (22x30) | 2015

Most often place applies to our own “local” entwined with personal memory, known or unknown histories, marks made in the land that provide and evoke.  Place is latitudinal and longitudinal within the map of a person’s life.  It is temporal and spatial, personal and political.  A layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth.  It is about connections, what surrounds it, what formed it, what happened there, what will happen there.” -Lucy Lippard

 

My drawings are echoes of my experience of place juxtaposing the neoromantic adoration of landscape and conceptually driven outsider artists like David Shriggley and Nedko Solakov.  Repeated landscapes are put on top of imagined ones creating an animated experience of place.  Actual and imagined are mixed through the repetition of modified photo transfers and mixing forms within the smudges and spills made on the paper.  To Lucy Lippard, someplace was a point that we are looking for while no place could exist in a location we know but in the form of unknown or ignored objects.  These drawn locations all exist however in their repeated form and the attempt to illustrate the potentiality of space they have been given a sense of placelessness and the geography of nowhere.  Instinctual attraction to a locale can open our imagination and draw us into a venue that should be unknown and meaningless.  An image, when paired with untold real or unreal stories, can create an uncanny familiarity and sense of belonging within the unknown.  These suspended drawings create a tension between someplace and no place, known and unknown, past and future, fantasy and loss. I invite you to explore these worlds and find your own place among them.

Sublime Landscapes for the Outsider Artist - Jordan

Sublime Landscapes for the Outsider Artist - Jordan

Acrylic Paint, Pastel, Graphite, Conte, Charcoal, Pencil Crayon, Photo Transfer, Tea, Coffee, Pen on Paper (22x30) | 2015