Jeremy Olson

Stanford, California, 1981

Jeremy Olson creates or appropriates situations in which one body acts on another to reflect on contemporary systems that cross social, biological, and technological registers. He uses the physical and affective forces that drive these systems to generate a critical choreography. One body and its actions are at odds with another, so that as artworks his installations perform the contradictions of the systems in which we find ourselves. His recent work concerns a variety of situations: regulation of tomato color, industrial flower production, and desires for the machinic and systematic. What unites these projects is the portrayal of bodies in conflict with their situations. In his Spectral Tomato series, he manipulates the color of tomatoes using intense light sources, colored filters, and injections of dye. Tomato color is subject to strict regulation, so altering it renders them alien and points to this regulation’s impact on us, the way that color mediates our desire and disgust. Flower Stool is a dissected and multiplied flower suspended on threads within an industrial stool, its form partially determined by the flower’s architecture, and partially by that of the stool. Suspended Animation is composed of a visual vocabulary related to life support: imaging, water circulation, and architectural form.  As systems, they are actively undoing themselves. Lenses project images of a flower, but wilt it in the process; water circulates through a pump, depositing wax and destroying a table. Constructed from site-specific furniture and materials, these systems appear to be just installed, a prototype for something to come. For this show, Olson activates the tactile interfaces between the human body and a technological one. Through the implication of touch, Olson’s materials equivocate between fabricated and handmade, and the manmade or organic to present the porosity of these binaries, and the desires that confirm and maintain them.