Jordan Weber, Fluxx Gallery
North wall, Fluxx Gallery
In a triumphant and heart tugging new show at Fluxx Gallery in the East Village, Jordan Weber dives into the iconic and messy world of professional athletics. To take things even deeper Jordan infuses the show with an impending sense of dread and hyperbole by creating shrine-like installation work. The show is scattered throughout with images of the renowned basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Mostly the images are found in the form of relics, such as basketball cards, Jordan shoes, and even a dinner plate with the player’s image on it. The images juxtaposed with Weber’s use of space and mass media detritus such as cartoon imagery and corporate logos, eschew the purported deification of athletes.
Detail of west wall installation
My own adolescence came into play as a viewer and I was drawn back to the times where without question I held basketball stars in high regard. As a player myself I was enamored with Michael Jordan and his untarnished and mythic veneer, both on the court and off. I collected artifacts, such as his shoes, and his basketball cards, in essence consuming the crumbs of his persona. In recent years, I have continued to relive and relink to my adolescence by watching old clips and games that Michael Jordan played in. I actually own a box set of dvd’s devoted to him.
West wall installation
I asked Jordan Weber a few questions about this show…
You’re working more with 3 dimensional form, along with found objects and objects from personal collections in your current show, talk about that progression in your work.
As far as progression goes, it has happened so organically that I don’t really pay much attention to it. It feels natural working more locally and personally. I feel refreshed working this way.
When you begin to work on a piece where do you start? Your work seems to move in and out of the conceptual realm really freely, at times ambiguity takes over, whereas other times the concept is front and center. What’s your process for idea management?
I always start with concept stemming from research or in this body of work, with reflection from my personal past. I pretty much flip a switch to auto drive when I’ve reached a boiling point conceptually. Aesthetically I rely on ambiguity at times. I don’t like to put a death grip on the materials through out the art making process. For me, it is very important to let the materials be and act on their own at times. It’s more interesting this way. If something falls too far from the original concept, I tear it down partially and rebuild it to fit the ideology of the piece. When the dust settles I abandon the piece and live with it. Reflecting back on the original concept to fill possible voids I may have created unintentionally.
With this collection of work there seem to be many questions regarding the ideologies that we form as youth, race relations, the over-arching theme of the “league (NBA),” and idolatry. Could you please talk about these themes, and other themes that surface in your current show?
Material idolatry is the oil that permeates black youth and corrodes the social-economic landscape in the city, not to mention environmental apathy. There is a great failure in this. This lack of seeing what is extremely transient, this short-term gain is what Paul Hawken calls “The Final Loss”.
South wall installation
Jordan Weber has advanced over the last year or so in his work and is now using more installation based techniques to play with space and found artifacts. This show finds Weber searching through the debris of corporations and their manipulation of people who are set up before us as heroes. There is a painted image of multiple Porky Pigs playing pan-flutes, circling a sawed log with an NBA insignia emblazoned on its side suggesting some apocalyptic ritualized dance around a corporate totem. This show suggests that fame is a flawed pursuit, that no matter how high your star sails, there is always someone above you reaping the benefits of your talent, or below you consuming your crumbs. The show begs me to question the pursuits of my own heart and what my need is for a hero to worship, or a sport to religiously consume. When appreciation gives way to over-consumption and comparison we are all sold short.