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[1.12.10 - 31.12.10] Joshua Hagler - USA


"I utilize new and traditional media, weaving in and out of direct representation to elicit a kind of seizure in the fold between reason and madness.  Visual fluctuations of absurdity, irony, self-reflection, and sincere curiosity often conflate within a single artwork.  Intentionally, the works obscure common conceptions of myth and reality as diametrically opposed, a strategy borrowed from religion itself".


Joshua Hagler fra USA

Name: Joshua Hagler  

Nationality: American  

Homeland: United States

Town: San Francisco

Age: 31

How long are you resident? The month of December

Have you been in Trondheim before? No

Do you wish to get in touch with somebody in Trondheim?

I don’t know anyone in Trondheim.  I do have friends in Oslo, however.

Is it something you look forward to…?

Yes, but I’m not sure I understand the question.  Do you want to know if there is something specific I look forward to while at the residency?  Or in the city?  I look forward to the limited daylight hours.  I’ve never spent that much time in the dark, and I’m very, very interested in that experience.  As I have a deep fascination with religion and mythology, I’m curious to see what I can learn about Norse mythology in such an historically important city as Trondheim.   In terms of the residency, I’m looking forward to working around so many other artists, an experience I haven’t had since I was in school over eight years ago.    

About you work

Discipline: painting, sculpture, installation, animation

Technique: varied        

Statement:

Likely resulting from my formative indoctrination into a variety of American Christian communities, my compulsion toward religious content, upon which I develop both practice and subject, does not emerge from a coolly removed thesis, but rather from intense personal necessity.

I utilize new and traditional media, weaving in and out of direct representation to elicit a kind of seizure in the fold between reason and madness.  Visual fluctuations of absurdity, irony, self-reflection, and sincere curiosity often conflate within a single artwork.  Intentionally, the works obscure common conceptions of myth and reality as diametrically opposed, a strategy borrowed from religion itself. 

Each of my paintings begins with a digital sketch onto which I can collage a variety of photographic reference material--some found, some photographed--and continue to build methodically from the virtual to the tangible.  Eventually, I find what I think of as an unexpected opening or “wilderness,” an area to part company with the original plan, and move into a more exuberant state of improvisation.

While maintaining my focus on painting, I have incorporated sculpture, video, and animation into my practice.  My current project, “The Imagined Chase,” which borrows its title from the pages of Dante’s Inferno, includes animated digital 3D models to be used in a four-channel video installation. The models depict likenesses of collaborating “evangelists,” which include (1) a former neighbor who, suffering from an emotional trauma and set fire to my previous apartment building, (2) my father, a devout Evangelical Christian, (3) a cartoonist made famous on MTV who taught me to draw as a teenager, and (4) a sometimes-homeless friend who prophesizes about future disasters.  Several hours of video and webcam interviews are edited and re-contextualized through animated montage, which relies on source video for direction. This process builds into a fictive apocrypha of ‘sacred history’ by enlisting individual and shared feelings about mortality to accelerate experienced history towards myth. When projected externally, imagined scenarios about the mortality of the earth itself are integrated into the cultural evolution of mythology and religion in the present day.

Related paintings and sculptures reconfigure fragments of the evangelists’ personal histories and arrange them within a more arcane panorama.  The work is sincere in its use of subterfuge to compress the evangelists’ life experiences into the conceptual space of mythological time and suggests that madness does not originate in individuals, but is rather innate in nature itself and foundational to our most treasured religious beliefs.

Plans for your residency?

I am planning a triptych that will be integrated into my “Imagined Chase” body of work.  I am curious about how limited daylight will effect the painting, and I hope to integrate something of my general experience in Trondheim into the work’s aesthetic aim.  I will also spend some time writing.

 

 

 

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Redaktør: Kristina C. Karlsen, daglig leder LKV i Trondheim. Tlf. (47) 73 51 35 15, mobil (47) 472 72 977, epost: lademoen@online.no