Texas Tech University

An Evening with Lawrence Jordan

The Texas Tech University School of ART presents an evening with Lawrence Jordan:

Films, Live Performance, and Conversation, October 21 at the International Cultural Center (ICC). The presentation will begin at 7 pm and will be free and open to the public. The ICC is located at 601 Indiana Ave.

Additionally, in anticipation of Jordan's residency at Texas Tech, there will be a screening of a documentary and one of the artist's 35mm ilms at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on October 14 at 7 pm.Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is located at 120 W. Loop 289. (See details below.). Lawrence Jordan (b. 1934, Denver, CO) is the Fall 2014 Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross- Disciplinary Arts. Jordan is an American avant-garde filmmaker and master of the cutout and collage animation techniques. His first foray into the genre happened while he was a student at Harvard University, motivated by the European surrealist films he saw there. In 1953, Jordan left Cambridge for Denver, where he and collaborator Stan Brakhage carried on experimentation with the medium. Their inexorable search for an audience ultimately brought them to the San Francisco Bay Area, connecting them with like-minded artists, including Jess Collins, Bruce Conner, and Michael McClure. In 1955, during a temporary stay in New York, Jordan met Joseph Cornell, who would become most influential in shaping his career. Cornell's filmic investigations and constructions of found objects inspired Jordan's enthusiasm and prompted a decade-long apprenticeship.

In 1970, Jordan was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to assist the creation of his animated film The Sacred Art of Tibet (1972). In 1976, his documentary Triptych in Four Parts (1958) and dramatic film The Apparition (1976) were presented in the Whitney Museum of American Art's New American Filmmakers Series. Other films have been screened at the Cannes and Toronto International Film Festivals (1974 and 2004, respectively), and broadcast on Sundance Channel (1999). Showcases include "Meubles et Immeubles" (1993) at the Centre Pompidou, "Daydream Believer!!" at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, and, most recently, "Metamorphosis" (2014) at the National Gallery of Art.

On October 21 the following 16mm short films by Lawrence Jordan will be screened at the ICC, followed by a live performance by Jordan and colleague John Davis. The presentation begins at 7 pm. A question and answer exchange will end the evening. Admission is free and open to the public.

  • Orb, 1973 (16mm film, color, sound; 5 minutes): This cutout-animated film treated with hallucinatory effects follows the converging paths of a puffed up balloon and a pair of lovers.
  • Moonlight Sonata, 1979 (16mm film, color, sound; 5 minutes): Erik Satie's piano composition "Gnossienne no. 5," which Jordan selected for its radical simplicity, plays to the acrobatics of ball balancing, ring twirling cutout figures.
  • Water Light, 1957 (16mm film, color, sound; 8 minutes): The places visited and encounters experienced by the artist when he was a service member in the United States Merchant Marine are reinterpreted in this experimental travelogue.
  • The Visible Compendium, 1990 (16mm film, color, sound; 17 minutes): Included in this grab bag of animated scenes to stimulate the viewer's mind, a flurry of oversize bullets swirls past a chariot with warriors, a toucan in a tropical setting squawks loudly, and a caravel fitted with a hot-air balloon bobs over countrysides.
  • Château/Poyet, 2004 (16mm film, color, sound; 6 minutes): Images for this animated film come from reproductions of nineteenth-century engravings by Louis Poyet. Cutout figures perform feats of gynmastics and set in motion various peculiar devices.
  • Solar Sight, 2011 (16mm film, color, sound; 15 minutes): This animated film develops from the question, what is the place of the human being in the cosmos? The picture shifts from early cultures on Earth to views from outer space. Solar Sight is set to the music of John Davis.
  • Solar Sight II, 2012 (16mm film, color, sound; 10 minutes): Carrying on with the theme of Solar Sight, seemingly unconnected cutouts including exotic fish, polyhedrons, and dessertspoons float over backdrops of early cultures and recent space travel. Solar Sight II is set to the music of John Davis.

In anticipation of Jordan's residency at Texas Tech, the School of Art, in collaboration with the Texas Tech International Film Series and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, will screen the following documentary and 35mm film at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on October 14 at 7 pm. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is located at 120 W. Loop 289. Admission at the door is free and open to the public. Online reservations incur a $5 fee that is credited toward the purchase of food and drink during the screening.

  • Moments of Illumination, 2010 (DVD, color, sound; 45 minutes): Kathryn Golden and Ashley James provide insight into Lawrence Jordan's cross-disciplinary practice, capturing the artist at work in his studio while he recounts his collaborations with Stan Brakhage, Joseph Cornell, and Michael McClure.
  • Our Lady of the Sphere, 1969 (35mm film, color, sound; 10 minutes): This animated film by Lawrence Jordan represents a vision of voyage. The Lady of the Sphere, a cutout figure with a celestial body for a head, glides across baroque backdrops and journeys to outer space.

Lawrence Jordan's residency at Texas Tech is supported with funds from The Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar Program in Cross-Disciplinary Arts in the College of Visual & Performing Arts, School of Art and Art History Special Instruction Fees, and Landmark Arts, whose exhibitions and visiting speaker programs at the School of Art are supported by generous grants from the Helen Jones
Foundation and The CH Foundation, both of Lubbock, and Cultural Activities Fees administered through the College of Visual & Performing Arts. Additional support for the Lawrence Jordan residency comes from the College of Media & Communication, the Texas Tech International Film Series, and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

For more information, please contact:

Joe Arredondo
Director of Landmark Arts
(806) 742-1947


Solar Sight II (still), 2012