Every Tuesday afternoon we’re featuring the work of an artist to support him/her in cultivating a new audience, to give vision into his/her often unseen studio practice, and to build a diverse roster which participants in the contemporary arts conversation may reference. This week’s artist ‘From the Roster’ is Justin Sorensen.
Artist Bio: Justin Sorensen is an artist whose work moves between performance, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and installation. Originally from northwestern Pennsylvania, Sorensen received his BFA from Kutztown University in Kutztown, PA before moving on to do graduate work at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. He received his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States, most notably at David Krut Projects in New York, NY, and the Granoff Center at Brown University in Providence, RI. Additionally, his work was featured in the exhibition Global Vision at Kyoto Seika University in Iwakura, Kyoto, Japan. He is currently based in northeastern Iowa, where he is serving as a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Luther College. He will be relocating to Williston, North Dakota in January to develop the Art Program at Williston State College and to serve the surrounding community.
“I have the impression that I may be inspecting a large area only eventually to exclude it from conversation.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture and Value
In 1977 NASA launched Voyager 1, a spacecraft intended to give scientists up-close looks at Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. After completing its primary mission, it traveled an additional 12 billion miles beyond the orbit of Pluto. On September 12, 2013, it was officially reported that Voyager 1 had left the solar system and entered into Interstellar Space. This is the area in a galaxy that is between the stars. Despite this accomplishment, it is estimated that it would take approximately 40,000 years before Voyager 1 would reach another planetary system. It is expected to be inoperable by 2025.
Standing in the wake of Voyager 1, I have often found myself asking what it means to participate in a story that I did not write. For I can’t help but consider the implications of my practice as it moves along the scope of an infinite backdrop. Knowing that a spaceship has surpassed limits I thought could never be reached, to draw the stars is to come to an understanding of my own limitations, and to make myself aware of the potential inconsequence of my work. For me, this has begun to establish a posture of humility rather than one of cynicism. Measuring the meaning of my gestures now requires focusing on the point where my own personal narrative does not fall into insignificance but becomes a matter of secondary importance.
The landscape plays a prominent role in my studio practice. Primarily, I’m interested in the impression my body leaves on a space. My work is meant to act as an index within the land of my attempt to meaningfully move my body through the natural world. While my work exists in multiple forms, from performance and sculpture to drawing, print, and photography, I’m not interested in creating a readily identifiable style as much as I want to develop a practice of sustainable questions. The landscape holds sediment of countless histories and narratives. As my body navigates the land, I’m seeking to excavate those narratives as well as contribute my own. To that end, my practice is situated within the cross section of a much larger Narrative that I am trying to thoughtfully participate in.
More of Justin Sorensen’s work can be seen at his website.