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A Manner of Speaking Jan/Feb '10

by Bonnie Neugebauer
January/February 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5019102/

Stacks of prison uniforms, florets of Barbie dolls, discarded cell phones â€" it wasn’t until we were too close to escape that the intriguing photographs of Chris Jordan came into focus for what they actually captured and what they represent. Vast columns of texture from a distance became provocative evidence of consumerism and other current social issues.

During the media interview, artist Chris Jordan (of local origin and widespread reputation) talked about walking away from a legal career and into art because he didn’t want life, his life, to be wasted. And his art is earning respect because it’s about ­something, it means something â€" his photographs deliver messages. “Seen from a distance, the images are like something else, maybe totally boring pieces of modern art. On closer view, the visitor has an almost unpleasant experience with the artwork. It’s almost a magic trick; inviting people to a conversation that they didn’t want to have in the first place . . . ” (Jordan in ­Environmental Grafitti).

But Jordan isn’t focused on immediate action. Rather he wants his art to create a feeling â€" acting on that feeling isn’t as important to him as experiencing it. “When feelings are suppressed, they ...

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