This week I am sharing more work seen at PhotoNOLA….
There is an interesting trend in photography where the image maker uses photographs to create photographs, and Christopher Jordan
aptly achieves this way of working with his terrific series, Suburban Sublime
. Layers of emotion and story telling occur from his built dioramas, shot through velum and altered with light. This bending of reality leads us through our own personal psychology and memories as we question what we are seeing, but at the same time find ourselves in familiar landscapes.
Christopher Jordan is a photographic artist and teacher. He holds a faculty position at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He earned his MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004. Conceptually, Jordan works with a variety of techniques to create landscape imagery of both real and imaginary places. He is most interested in how depictions of place serve as vehicles for reflection, memory and meditation. Jordan’s work has been exhibited nationally and is held in several private collections.
The Suburban Sublimeseries was exhibited in a solo show at the Museum of Art, University of Southern Mississippi, in 2012, and will also be shown at the Colvard Union Gallery, Mississippi State University, in Spring of 2013. The artist is currently seeking additional venues for exhibition of this work.
Individual works from the series have enjoyed national exposure at venues such as: Rayko Photography Center, Gutstein Gallery, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Wellington B. Gray Gallery, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, and 1212 Gallery, and others. Suburban Sublime is also part of the national travelling exhibition Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers and has appeared in the publication, Diffusion: Unconventional Photography. Jordan also presented an artist talk at the Jennifer Shwartz Gallery in Atlanta, where three of the images were shown as part of a group exhibition featuring the Diffusionphotographers.
The project Suburban Sublime situates a mystical narrative within suburbia. Suburban landscapes are seemingly bland and uneventful places. Yet paradoxically, this banality can incubate something curious and wondrous, such as the luminous events transpiring within these pictures. Are the events supernatural? Fantastical? Threatening? That remains to be seen. The sublime can be found within the depths of the paradox.
The images are made by photographing dioramas, which are themselves built from photographs. Through the use of light and velum, the impression of luminous, atmospheric effects is created in front of the lens. The buildings and places depicted are no longer specimens of suburbia; they become visual koans, requiring an imaginative leap to resolve initial perceptions. This work explores the ambiguity between photographic expectation and neo-pictorialist space, signification and abstraction, and the real versus the uncanny.