_the california sun was all i had for breakfast and it burned my eyes

Jordan Sullivan’s upcoming exhibition, ”The California Sun Was All I Had For Breakfast, And It Burned My Eyes”, is composed of redemptive pieces; things made from failures through a process open to destruction and mistakes. Jordan prints each photograph on a basic office printer, the lo-fi nature of the prints is a decisive gesture against the image as a precious object. Each print is then saturated with chemicals, left in the rain, and manipulated by hand. This cumulative process results in the colors of the images seeping into the backs of the prints. The images are then flipped over, cut-up, and reassembled. From these photographs of physical landscapes, psychological spaces begin to emerge. Abstract fragments and scraps of opaque evidence recall open-ended moments from Jordan’s lived experience. All that is seen of the original photographic base is the hazy nebula of colors that have bled onto the backs of each print.

Drawing from a lost and destructive time in Los Angeles, Jordan reshapes traditional diaristic photographs and representational moments in a linear format into revisionist abstractions. The bleeding assemblages preserve Jordan’s personal experience within cities and landscapes, allowing for concrete moments and memories to become the origin points for the resulting abstractions. The highly performative, action-based process of destroying images to create new ones mirrors the failures of his own life. In a sense, the creation of each work is an attempt by Jordan to grant himself a second chance or to mine for meaning and clarity from a series of broken moments.

The landscape image has become a banal trope in contemporary visual culture, functioning as a backdrop for the performative self. Not unlike constructed studio sets, landscapes have taken on a malleable quality rendering them surreal and repetitive. Jordan explores the latent meanings, both historical and personal within his own archive of landscape photographs. The mythical Monet’s Garden is tempered by the modesty of Jordan’s backyard in Ohio, while the murky surface of the Detroit River with its storied history is presented alongside domestic and nocturnal scenes from LA. This fluid interchange and collaging of sites invites a spiritual examination of a landscape as a mediated space where one becomes a mental visitor not only to a place but to the fragmented moments of a life.