I am a visual artist and filmmaker. I was born in Sweden but have spent most of my professional life working both in Europe and the United States. For the past 15 years, I have been engaged in a genre-defying, research-based artistic practice, often using film, video, and installation, but also sometimes text and drawing/animation. I disseminate my projects in the spheres of contemporary art, film and the social sciences. My longtime focus has been on documentary practices and experimental fieldwork, with themes of authorship, agency and marginalized populations. Collaboration is a crucial part of my practice, and I consider my work inherently political. I aim to favor engagement over representation, which require an intense form of listening and exchange. This approach challenges the notions of a single artistic voice, and one of my interests has been to critically examine authorship. The documentary feature film "Kiki" is about a youth-led social movement for House and Ballroom LGBTQ+ youth of color in New York City. It was the product of a close collaboration over five years with community leader Twiggy Pucci Garcon and other members of the NYC Kiki scene. Together with Twiggy I also organized several site-specific and community art projects, such as "The Reincarnation of Rockland Palace," a ball at the site significant for its LGBTQ history during the Harlem Renaissance. It is now a trashy parking lot without any memorial plaques. Our project reclaimed the space for a new generation ballroom youth.
While the documentary KIKI was my first project in the film world with international theatrical distribution, I have been working with narrative video and film in contemporary art since the late 1990s. In museum and gallery settings I often work with moving images that unfold over several screens, using poetic language to create narrative threads for the viewer. I sometimes work with a single theme or site for an extended period, in interdisciplinary investigations critics have called 'obsessive.' In the installation "The Persona Project 2000-2010", which includes two videos, a sound piece, photographs, documents and a 16mm film, I excavate the voices surrounding Ingmar Bergman's cinematic masterpiece "Persona" from 1964. The last work in the series is a portrait of Hedvig, a woman who lives in the set house built for "Persona" on the Island of Fårö in the Baltic Sea. After Bergman's death, she is hounded by tourists who want to see her house and ask her to re-enact scenes from the film, which is about a woman refusing to speak. I am very interested in counter-narratives, hidden histories and the stories of people that are not considered significant. In that sense, my work also criticizes hierarchies, such as who is thought of as an author or artist, and who gets to narrate their own life and define the world.
I have worked with video-based public art. One year ago I completed "Diamond People" a commissioned public artwork in the form of a documentary film and in-situ screening/discussion with the former employees of a now-closed diamond factory in a small town in Northern Sweden. The "Diamond People" project include several works and installations and took close to 12 years to complete. It documents the symbiosis between the community and the factory, the collective shame of being employed by De Beers, the South African company that operated the factory for 50 years, and the crisis during the final closure. A commission by the Public Art Agency in Sweden, this work was screened in other closed factories in Sweden, activating these spaces for a discussion around labor, loyalty, and globalization.
I am one of the founders, with sociologist Amber Horning, of the research platform FringeField. Together we have collaborated on several interdisciplinary research projects. In "NYC Maps" we interviewed close to 100 pimps in Harlem and asked them to draw maps of where they moved in the city to do their work, which were later shown in the exhibition "Matter Out Of Place" at the Kitchen in NYC. We are currently working with a group of refugees from Afghanistan in Sweden, on a project about being "at risk" and simultaneously being perceived as "risky". You can read more about FringeField by visiting our site.
Thank you for your interest! You can reach me at jordeno-at-gmail-dot-com and follow me on social media.