What Is My Work About?
We are currently experiencing an extraordinary moment in life where the potential for widespread, radical social change is possible. The recent tragic incidents of systemic oppression, institutional racism, and police violence, as exemplified by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner (amongst numerous others), have woken up the public in a rage. People are protesting, mobilizing, talking, writing, posting, speaking up—no longer can the marginalized and oppressed remain silent and passive. Abundant in this atmosphere ripe for revolution is a simultaneous feeling of powerlessness and empowerment. It is within this combination of seeming opposites that new forms and new ways of being can be born. It is here, amongst moments of breaks that move beyond dichotomies and binaries, that I situate my work as an artist.
In one of the proliferation of writings about race and racism that have recently been circulating, I was introduced to a quote by Bishop Gene Robinson:
It is difficult for a majority to see, let alone sympathize with, a practice that discriminates against a minority. It’s not unlike trying to get a fish to understand the concept of water! It is simply the medium in which the fish resides, requiring no cognition of the water that supports it. Discrimination–not just individual, but systemic–is the “water” in which the majority swims, and unless something happens to bring that discrimination into the view and consciousness of the majority, nothing will change, because the majority hardly, if ever, notices it.
As artists, I feel this is what we attempt to do, to expose, bring to the surface, reveal, make accessible the various systems in play that the majority take for granted, the “water” in which we reside. And it’s not just overt or not so overt forms of discrimination but also subtle judgments and beliefs that shape our perception and keep us separate. I am invested in engaging the public to adventure within in order to uncover and question personal beliefs that block us from true connection and belonging.
To this end, my work often becomes an exercise in vulnerability: a constant exposing of my psyche, making public my personal self as a political act, and understanding that this is how true connection is formed. For me, revolution always begins with the personal and then automatically and effortlessly expands outward onto others and the world around me.
Because I am interested in addressing rarely questioned beliefs that keep us separate in order to create new ways of being beyond our current imagination, I find it necessary to work in a variety of media and platforms: installation, sculpture, performance, video, photography, writing, radio, social media, collectives, lifestyle, etc. All of it is integral to understanding the depth of my practice as an artist, a revolutionary, and an adventurer in life. My monthly radio show, Adventures Within, for example, is just as important as my physical art that was recently exhibited in Made in L.A. 2014 at the Hammer Museum. My writing, which forms the basis of The Revolution, is also of equal importance. How I participate in KCHUNG as the Communications & Scheduling Wizard informs The Revolution. And how I interact with myself and with others on a daily basis is of equal significance and is absolutely considered part of my practice. All these numerous and various physical forms and ways of being infuse my work with an energy that expands beyond the object or its occupation within a specific time and space. It is this energy that I feel is the crux of my work.
My life coach friend, whom I reference often on my radio show, once said that he thinks most people aren’t having relationships with each other: it’s our beliefs that are having relationships with one another. Somehow along the way, we have lost connection with our hearts, our humanness, and have become hosts to beliefs. How can we cut through our beliefs so we can really begin to see people? It begins by having the courage to shed our own beliefs, to delve into the darkest parts of ourselves and share them with the world. This is The Revolution, this is art, and this is the creation of a new world based in unadulterated love and continuous expansion for all on this earth and beyond. The time is now or, as the kids like to say, YOLO.
2002 MFA, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
1996 BA, University of California, Los Angeles
1973 Born Lafayette, Indiana
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA
2014 “Will You Still Love Me: Learning To Love Yourself, It Is The Greatest Love Of All,” Equitable Vitrines, Los Angeles, CA
2013 “There is Nothing left but Freedom,” Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
2012 “Phoenix Rising, Part 1: This Is Where I Learned Of Love,” Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles, CA
2000 “The Facility,” China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
1999 “jennifer MOON FESTIVAL,” Best Western Dragon Gate Inn in association with China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA
1996 “The Startouchers,” Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1995 “Both Sides Now,” project room, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1994 “The 2nd Annual DEEDRA INC Cocktail Party with Homo Superior,” Tunnel, New York, NY
1993 “DEEDRA INC Cocktail Party,” Griffin Commons Grand Ballroom, UCLA
Selected Group Exhibitions
“Made in L.A. 2014,” curated by Connie Butler and Michael Ned Holte, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
“The Space Between Us,” curated by Ana Iwataki, Courtesy, Paris, France
“Role-Play,” curated by Salomeh Grace, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“Educational Complex Edit: Videos from the Students of Mike Kelley,” TAG at the University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida
“Jerry/Jury-Rigged,” curated by Jan Tumlir, Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, CA
“Superhero Artstaaar: Beyond Good and Evil,” curated by Bridget Crone, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Australia
“THERE: Sites of Korean Diaspora,” Gwangju Biennale, Project 2, curated by Yong Soon Min, Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gallery5, Gwangju, South Korea
“Two Friends and so on,” organized by Jonathan Horowitz and Rob Pruitt, Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, CA
“Song Poems,” produced by Steven Hull, Cohan Leslie and Browne, New York, NY (2002 Rosemund Felson, Los Angeles, CA)
“Pan Pacific,” First Floor Artists and Writers Space, Melbourne, Australia
“An Active Life,” curated by Sue Spaid, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
“They Risked Heart Attacks, Broken Legs and Sprained Ankles to Bring Me this Clovelly Show,” Testrip, Auckland, New Zealand
“Heller’s Summer B‐B‐Que,” Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“17th Annual LACE Benefit Art Auction,” LACE, Los Angeles, CA
“Now & Later,” curated by Elizabeth Valdez, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“The Artist as Subject and Object,” Cerritos College Fine Art Gallery, Cerritos, CA
“Wild Side,” curated by Rick Jacobson, LACE, Los Angeles, CA
“Piece: Nine Artists Consider Yoko Ono,” curated by Rick Jacobson, Kiki Gallery, San Francisco, CA
“Art Auction,” American Fine Arts Co, New York, NY
KCHUNG Radio, Public Engagement artist-in-residence, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
“Boot Camp for Revolutionaries,” ropes course workshop, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland
“Adventures Within,” monthly radio show, KCHUNG radio, Chinatown, CA
“The Revolution,” therevolution.jmoon.net, Los Angeles, CA
“50 Weeks,” musical-documentary movie, written by Jennifer Moon, directed by Jennifer Moon and Alexandro Segade, music by Malik Gaines, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
“50 Weeks Soundtrack,” CD, produced by Jennifer Moon, Mayo Thompson and Tom Watson, all songs written by Malik Gaines based on the texts of Jennifer Moon with the exception of “Snowboarding” written by Chris Nichols, sponsored by Fine Art Graduate Studies, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
“The Facility,” public superhero training center, Del Mar Graduate Studios, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
Internship at American Fine Arts Co (as Deedra Swan), New York, NY
Selected Published Works
“Definition of Abundance: Principle 1 of The Revolution.” 3rd ed. Los Angeles, CA: Hammer Museum. Print.
“Definition of Abundance: Principle 1 of The Revolution.” 2nd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: Transmission Gallery. Print.
“This Is Where I Learned Of Love: CDCR 8/18/08 – 5/19/09.” Raleigh, NC: Lulu. Print. eBook.
“Definition of Abundance: Principle 1 of The Revolution.” 1st ed. Los Angeles, CA: Commonwealth & Council. Print.
“The Utopian Annex.” LOG Illustrated no.9 summer: 14. Print.
“Why I Don’t Do Community Service.” Issue 2 an Art Center College of Design Publication spring: 10-11. Print.
“Three Days in the Life of Jennifer Moon.” Issue 1 an Art Center College of Design Student Publication fall: 16-18. Print.
“Snowboarder.” Photograph. Snowflake no.2: 1. Print.
“Superheroes.” Art ad. LOG Illustrated 2.2 spring: 28. Print.
“The Triplicate.” Comic book. no.1 September. Print.
“The Swan.” Newsletter. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 July-Sept. Print.
Fellowships, Awards, and Grants
Mohn Public Recognition Award, Made in L.A. 2014
CCI ARC grant
CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists – Emerging
Teague-Melville-Elliot Prize, UCLA
Robert Lee Adams Stipend, UCLA
UCLA Art Council Fellowship, UCLA
Clifton Web Scholarship, UCLA
Swann, Jennifer. “Jennifer Moon Wins Hammer Museum Award, Plans to Start Revolution.” LA Weekly Blogs 20 August 2014. Web.
Gelt, Jessica. “Hammer Museum announces winners of 2014 Made in L.A. Mohn Awards.” Los Angeles Times Culture Monster 19 August 2014. Web.
Vankin, Deborah. “An art phoenix on the ascent.” Los Angeles Times 30 July 2014: D. Print.
Wahlquist, Grant. “Jennifer Moon,” Interview. HOUSEGUEST. WordPress.com, 14 April. Web.
Finkel, Jori. “Painting on a Radio Canvas: KCHUNG Gives Los Angeles Artists a Voice on the Airwaves.” The New York Times 27 February. Web.
Drew, Peter. “Jennifer Moon @ Transmission, until 27 Apr.” Rev. of “There is Nothing left But Freedom” at Transmission Gallery. The Skinny 18 March. Web.
Wagley, Catherine. “Five Artsy Things to Do This Week, Including Lena Dunham’s Dad’s Drawings.” Rev. of “Phoenix Rising, Part 1: This Is Where I Learned Of Love” at Commonwealth & Council. LA Weekly 2 May. Web.
Laird, Tessa. “Moonage Daydream—The Jennifer Moon Project.” LOG Illustrated issue 12 summer: 6-7. Print.
Von Schlegell, Mark. Rev. of “The Facility” at China Art Objects Galleries. artext no.71 November – January 2001: 79-80. Print.
Laird, Tessa. “Hello Superartist!.” Rev. of “The Facility” at China Art Objects Galleries. artnet October. Web.
Pagel, David. “Moon’s ’Facility’ Is Built on Invention, Participation.” Rev. of “The Facility” at China Art Objects Galleries. Los Angeles Times 28 July: F22. Print.
Stark, Frances. “Knowledge Evanescent.” artext no.68 February – April: 43: Print.
Gaines, Malik. “Young, Gifted and Confused: 4 Emerging Artists Talk Politics.” X-TRA 2.1 fall: 15-16, 18. Print.
Hultkrans, Andrew. “Surf and Turf.” Artforum summer: 107, 113. Print.
Dambrot, Shana Nys. “Jennifer Moon.” Interview with Lava. Hot Lava June: 26-31. Print.
Pagel, David. “Superhero Souvenirs.” Rev. of “The Startouchers” at Richard Heller Gallery. Los Angeles Times 2 February: F22. Print.
Hallock, Betty. “Zine Zone,” Rev. of “The Triplicate,” by Jennifer Moon, Video Games June: 16. Print.
Mateo. “Jennifer Moon,” Interview. Axcess 1.2: 50-51. Print.