Jason Lazarus: Your Time Is Gonna Come

02.22.11

Jason Lazarus: Your Time Is Gonna Come (Selected Work, 2005-2011)
February 22 – April 3 / 2011
Artist Talk: Wednesday / February 23 / 12 pm
Opening Reception: Saturday / February 26 /  5-7 pm

University Galleries of Illinois State University is pleased to announce Your Time Is Gonna Come, Jason Lazarus’ first museum survey, comprising photographic works and installations from his burgeoning international artistic practice. Lazarus’ work examines the nature of photography, past and present, implicitly asking viewers to assess the reach of photography within their own lives.  Lazarus uses his lens and the lenses of others to unite the genres of documentary and vernacular photography with the fanaticism of celebrity worship. In so doing, he heightens our awareness of where photography stands as a fine arts tool, a cultural symbol, and as a mnemonic device. Lazarus’ practice uses the image as a point of departure into a vast conceptual milieu that encompasses biography, popular culture, and the nature of meaning itself.

With pathos ranging from lighthearted to solemn, Lazarus’ multifarious practice ranges from traditionally presented photographs and photograms to appropriated and solicited photographs and texts. In his framed, large-scale works, Lazarus unites the consummate technique of a studio photographer (Eric Becklin, first human to see the center of our galaxy) with the impromptu spontaneity of a vernacular street photographer (Michael Jackson Memorial Procession, June 25th, 2010 [Gary, IN to Chicago]). His towering white-on black photograms, from the Orion Over Baghdad series, consist solely of snapshot titles Lazarus mined from the Flickr accounts of U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq.

Lazarus’ installations often include the photographic works of others. Too Hard To Keep, for example, is an archival repository consisting of images solicited from anyone interested in relieving themselves of a photograph that has become too difficult to keep in their lives. Other archives presented in the exhibition include excerpts from NIRVANA, a collection of snapshots and texts submitted by project participants in response to the question, “Do you remember who introduced you to the band Nirvana?” and Sarasota Photomat, an archive of surreptitiously collected images from a one-hour photo developer.

In Lazarus’ unabashedly subjective re-envisioning of shared phenomena, he aims to capture the “moments and spaces in which our political, cultural, and historical landscape reveals itself.”

Since receiving his MFA in Photography (2003, Columbia College, Chicago), Jason Lazarus has established an international exhibition history with solo shows at Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery (Cologne), D3 Projects (Los Angeles), Des Moines Art Center, Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago), and a 12×12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Lazarus’ work has appeared in many group exhibitions, including: the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), PPOW (New York), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Das Weisse Haus (Vienna), Kunstraum (Dusseldorf, Germany), Rotterdam Hofplein (Netherlands), and Queens Museum of Art (April 2011). His work may be found in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Ruttenburg Collection (Chicago), and the Spertus Institute (Chicago), among others. Lazarus teaches at Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago.

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