April 13, 2012 - June 2, 2012
Opening Reception: Friday, April 13th, 7-9 pm
Jordan Wolfson's solo exhibition at Midway features two recent videos from 2011: Animation, masks and Untitled. The works are characterized by a pervasive reflection on technology, mortality, sexuality, and identity. In Animation, masks, a bearded character wearing a yarmulke serves as an unlikely protagonist during this 12-minute video. Wolfson's "Jew" is a chameleon-like avatar that takes on the voices of readers and actors alternating between Richard Brautigan's Love Poem and a sexually frank dialogue between two lovers. Both the poem and the dialogue invoke notions of intimacy, sexuality, and absence. There is a particularly distinct narcissistic quality to the lovers' conversation. As they ply each other with questions, the young man's voice dispassionately asks his partner "Will you tell them what's it's like to be with me?"
As in much of his work over the past decade, the video is a both a reflection and distortion of the real. Imagery shifts and spins in the background, while graphics are mapped onto the character's face, creating a rapidly cycling series of masks: corporate logos, iconic cartoon characters and images pulled from internet searches. As he whips himself into a paranoid frenzy, the subsequent distortions present a completely fractured persona.
While Wolfson's other video from 2011, Untitled, shares this melancholic meditation on sexuality, identity, and violence, this work has more of a correlation to the sleek seduction of an iPhone commercial. A series of macabre still lives of severed lobster claws overlaid with pornographic imagery lie on an antiseptic white background. Hands silently cut rubber bands off the claws with a razor blade, evoking an ambiguous and prolonged psychological state of simultaneous arousal and boredom.
Jordan Wolfson (born 1980, New York) lives and works in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Alex Zachary Peter Currie, New York; Naussauischer Kunstverein Weisbaden; Schmela-Haus/K21 Düsseldorf; Kunsthalle Zürich; and the Swiss Institute, New York. He currently has a solo exhibition at Kunsthalle Vienna and forthcoming exhibitions at REDCAT in Los Angeles and S.M.A.K. in Ghent. Wolfson has participated in recent group exhibitions including: Prospectif Cinéma at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Dystopia at CAPC, Bourdeaux; Off the wall, Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal; and The Second Strike, Herzliya Biennial, Israel. His work is in public collections including the Whitney Museum, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Fondazione March, Padua; Magasin 2 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm; and S.M.A.K., Ghent.