The MakeRoom Artist Residency is now in it’s second variation with artist and sculptor Jordan Jersheele of Wisconsin. Having Jordan as part of the residency has been an experience in observing subtlety.
While he has been working at MakeRoom I’ve come to admire his slow and steady process of creating. Each day I watch as he concentrates and contemplates his next move. His expressions are not ones of wild abandon, there are no bold brush strokes or bright colors in the series of work he is creating while here.
Rather, the series he’s working on are wall-mounted panels which he constructed out of common drywall. A material so common and benign that it fades away from our awareness. To this material he has been adding subtle line drawings, small images, some text and layers of faint white and off-white paint-like mediums, some layers get sanded off before more layers are added. He's steadily and slowly adding history and patina to these panels. The work does not progress quickly. Instead it moves forward at a continued and focused pace. It reminds me of the process of seasons changing in nature. He's creating a body of work which I believe will require a focused amount of time to witness and see due to their minimal subtlety. However, these works are not minimal rather they are complex
Conversations with Jordan have also been a complex. While he’s been in residency at MakeRoom we’ve had many wonderful talks on a variety of topics. From education and the challenges of art school curriculum to context and the value of human interactions. He has a depth of understanding and a thoughtfulness which surpass his years.
Because of his breadth of interests and his deliberately considered thinking I decided to ask him a few simple questions to which he was kind enough to give me these succinct answers.
1. What does the MakeRoom Artist Residency mean to you?
It means someone (Thomas) recognized my efforts and rewarded me an opportunity to focus on them. I'm very grateful.
2. How will your time at MakeRoom allow you to investigate, explore or deepen your work?
I've been drawn to drywall and collage lately, so I'll be implementing those on panels to be hung on a wall.
3. In 10 words or less what have you learned while at MakeRoom?
The Twin Cities are even more amazing than I thought
4. What is your favorite tool or skill in life?
Solitary grit and independent drive without the need for a platform. "You must learn to exist with no religion, no country, no allies. You must learn to live alone in silence." -Burroughs (I think that quote applies mostly to makers though)
5. In 3 words, what do artists/makers/creators off the world?
Communication, empathy, and well... everything. Someone had to make the first one after all
6. Share a podcast, book or film that I should know about, something that really has you thinking.
The podcast Lore is awesome, but I've been pulling a lot of inspiration from the book House of Leaves lately. The story itself isn't amazing, but the process of reading it is incredibly unique. However, if you need some solid pillars to go back to read - Dune, Neuromancer, or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Or watch the movie Brazil.
7. What is on your bucket list?
Burning Man, Meow Wolf, and getting a puppy.
8. Shapes, colors or words – pick your favorite.
Since it's the only one that applies to all three of those, it has to be words.