How to Manage Stillness, production still by Jordan Baseman, courtesy of Matt’s Gallery, London
Jordan Baseman is based in London. His video work and installation pieces have been shown extensively in the UK, and abroad. Recent solo exhibitions include: Deadness (Matt’s Gallery, London), The Most Powerful Weapon in this World, (Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead), Nasty Piece of Stuff (Aberdeen Art Gallery), Green Lady (Modern Art Oxford at Story Museum).
Born in USA, Jordan Baseman studied at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia and later gained an MA from Goldsmith’s College, University of London (1988). Baseman has recently been appointed Head of Sculpture, Reader in Fine Art, at the Royal College of Art, London. He has taught at many UK institutions most notably, Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London and The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford. In 2003, Baseman was the Henry Moore Sculpture Fellow at the British School at Rome and in 2011 was a Visiting Fellow at St. John’s College, University of Oxford and Artist in Residence at Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo.
My most recent work is a synthesis of reportage, portraiture, documentary, creative non-fiction and narrative practices. I work with and record people, in order to produce films that have the interview and editing process at their core. Oral history, first person spoken-word narratives, field recordings and recorded inter-views are all of great interest to me.
My films seek to entertain, to emotionally engage and to challenge audiences. Although the work is placed within a fine art context and positioned within academic research culture, I do not feel that it is restricted to those environments and to those debates alone. It is of the utmost importance to me that my work does not operate exclusively within those realms and solely for those audiences.
Narration, storytelling, personal experience and belief interest me a great deal. The unpredictability of the interview situation excites me. In my films, speculation, opinion, ideas and anecdotes are often interwoven with intimate experiences of empirical, known information.
Visual abstraction, within a moving image context, is something that I have been increasingly interested in trying to manufacture. In addition, I have been hand-processing colour 16mm film, using buckets in a simple but totally blacked-out space, in order to encourage visual breakdown, fragmentation and distortion, and to really push the unpredictable nature of the materiality of film itself at its most fundamental level. This direction in my practice reflects my interest in relinquishing the boundaries of control within a process of image-making: celebrating the collision of representation and abstraction through process.