TJ Norris

Making a Way

Making A Way | Translation
Artists: Linda Bond, Kathy Bruce, Dee Hood, Saskia Krafft, Nathan Margoni, Lake Roberson Newton, TJ Norris, Iviva Olenick, Mandy Cano Villalobos

TJ Norris: On his work
TJ Norris: How Coronavirus has affected his practice

My work is meant to imply some level of synesthesia tending to cross the boundary between allegory and observation of the urban landscape constantly in flux. There is a Pretenders song that has long been my mantra for years called “My City Was Gone.” It looks at place, in the present, with a gap in time. As once familiar locations have been re-shaped by gentrification and technology my work has focused on this ever-changing urban shift. I’m fascinated by the strange balance between nature and the city, a combination expressing a sense of otherness often overlooked by the casual passerby. This only heightens a certain longing to explore what philosopher Emmanuel Levinas might term ‘the other,’ or an ‘in-between’ state of consciousness. This is exactly what I am further exploring in the series Urban Juxtaposition (2018–2020). This new work blends multiple ‘source images’ into one, new compositions. The next steps are to create some form of a/v installation (sound panels w/speaker outputs, transparencies, projections, possibly light boxes). At an unprecedented time in our history, where image-making itself has been reduced to the artifice of handheld selfies and social media, I’m taking stock of the eccentricities around me, in this pixelated ‘Wild West’.

Over the last decade Texas-based artist TJ Norris, who studied at Massachusetts College of Art and the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, has had work included in the Red Dot Art Festival and Aqua Miami, as well as participation in art residencies with Caldera Art Center and Kimmel Harding Nelson Art Center. Examples of Norris’ work are held in international private collections such as the Vanhaerents Art Collection, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fuller Museum of Art, Museum de la Cuidad, Harvard University, Nike, and Visual Chronicle Collection (RACC). His work conceptually explores social complexities in the urban environment. His work has been reviewed in Art Ltd, Leonardo (MIT Press), Photographer’s Forum, Oregonian, Boston Globe and has been featured at Tacoma Art Museum, Millepiani (Rome), CoCA Seattle, Blue Sky Gallery among other institutions. In 2018 he published his first monograph titled ‘Shooting Blanks’ and is now working on ‘Urban Juxtaposition,’ a series of forced double exposures, based on what the Surrealists referred to as ‘the exquisite corpse’. From the 1993–2013 Norris also worked as a freelance curator bringing shows to institutions like Tufts Aidekman Art Center, SUNY/Binghamton Art Museum, Miller Fine Art Center, Roland Dille Center for the Arts, Boise State Visual Art Center and his own art space, Soundvision.