Jordan Wolfson. Animation, masks

Animation, masks, 2011
3D animation, sound, 12′ 29”
courtesy of the artist

JORDAN WOLFSON‘s work is thoroughly original, unlike anything out there: he combines art historical references with pop culture, the conceptual with the obvious, reality and imagination and, perhaps most importantly, animation with sculpture. The New York native artist – who specializes in film, installation and performance-  is concerned with portraying contemporary society with all its absurd needs and desires. Though indirectly and certainly not exclusively, his work is a meditation on the modern viewer’s relationship to art.

In 2011, JORDAN WOLFSON released Animation, masks (2011), a 12-minute video that became one of his notable piece of work. The video features a grotesque, animated caricature of a middle-aged orthodox Jew, who recites Richard Brautigan’s Love Poem and, the intimate words of two young lovers, while flipping through a recent edition of Vogue Magazine.

I try to be as open as I can to different types of content. I open  myself up and I really just follow what I think is interesting and what I feel is – it’s not even about relevancy – what I’m internally moved by. A lot of my videos I saw in my head quite clearly before I made them. With Animation, masks (2011) – the first time I heard the Richard Brautigan ’Love Poem’ I immediately saw the Shylock character that I used in the video, speaking the words. The strongest case so far has been with Raspberry Poser. What you see in the video is really how things looked inside my mind when I was making the work. I really saw it just like this. It’s a very close approximation of my imagination being relayed into the media.JORDAN WOLFSON in conversation with KATIE GUGGENHEIM

Good news: Chisenhale Gallery in London is currently presenting the first UK solo exhibition by JORDAN WOLFSON and the UK premiere of Raspberry Poser (2012). This is WOLFSON‘s most recent video and the final instalment in a trilogy of works also comprising Con Leche (2009) and Animation, masks (2011).

I’d watched JORDAN’s Raspberry Poser (2012) in progress sections on my tiny laptop screen before seeing it installed in full at REDCAT. If I’d loved it in fragmented miniature, then sitting there, my chest exploding from the booming vibrations of Beyoncé’s ‘Sweet Dreams’, was nothing short of apocalyptic. This is an amazing work. The elastic inventions of animation warp themselves around human darkness in a rhythmic gravitational swirl that levitates and sags with equal volatility. Sitting there in the most immaculately installed media environment I’ve ever seen, I felt alienated, in love, possessed with jealously, and all accelerated in a confusion of hieroglyphic approximations and linguistic shorthand only just in reach of my grasp. Jordan is a troublemaker and this video is parasitic and obsessive, but wonderfully, perversely, outrageously under the skin. – HELEN MARTEN, Highlights 2013 for Frieze

➝ Raspberry Poser (2012) is on view at Chisenhale Gallery in London till February 2, 2014. Meanwhile you can watch more videos by JORDAN WOLFSON via ubuweb.

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