Sunday, October 10, 2010

Risa Morales submits Christopher Jordan

This weekend at the SPESC Conference in Arkansas we saw a number of people give presentations on their recent works.  One of these individuals was Christopher Jordan (a faculty member of the University of Alabama), who was discussing his most recent endeavor: "Suburban Sublime."

His talk about the work was well thought out, and the way he was able to describe all the different thoughts and concepts that went into the work in a coherent way really impressed me.  I understand the difficulty intelligent description presents when you have a number of disparate things that are coming together in one work, and his ability to do so was refreshing.

 The ephemeral, near-abstract, qualities of this body of work are produced by "rephotographing" images of suburban structures and situations.  Jordan takes a photo of the building or other object, and then projects or prints the image onto translucent or transparent papers and other light-emitting or distorting objects.  By manipulating those objects, he creates the effect or distortion desired, and then takes another photograph of this final combination. Many of his influences for this work come from the Pictorialist school of imagery, as well as various artists that have looked to express various states of spirituality and enlightenment through art.

I personally dislike the cookie-cutter, monotonous, and all around just plain unimaginative qualities of suburbia; qualities which have been pointed out and illustrated by photographers a great deal in recent years.  Jordan has, on the other hand, taken this work and shown us an  imaginative, haunting, and unique perspective on the suburban landscape.  I loved hearing about all of the lengths that he went to in creating these works, to get just the right effect, and I am utterly enchanted by the final product of his endeavors.  Through both the description and outcome of this body of work, as well as my own investigations on his previous works, Christopher Jordan has definitely landed my list of photographers to watch.

Libby... these are totally yummy! (btw, the name of his work at the top of this entry is the link to his website. Check it out!)


  1. I heart this image..."YUMMY" in libby's sing song voice. I really enjoy the nostalgic presence in this image. The focal point on the house in conjunction with the out of focus blurs really pull you into the image. It forces the viewers eye into the background onto the house quickly yet in a subtle way. Typically that abrupt or quick movement of the eye would be aesthetically unpleasing leaving the image feeling unbalanced. However, the control of the hues and the soft tonal ranges really soften the experience making it very pleasant as the viewer is forced back and forth between a very close foreground to a even more distant background. These two variables really provide a balance for the image and enhances the nostalgic presence I sense. "AWESOME"

  2. By the way. The comment is from me, Brittany Kennedy :-)

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful comments!