Spotlight on Jordan Rosenow and April Martin: We Move Still

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Jordan Rosenow and April Martin arrived at Franconia this summer as an FSP/Jerome fellow and an Open Studio fellow respectively. Jordan, hailing from Minnesota, and April, visiting from Canada, worked collaboratively on a sculpture and live performance, both titled We Move Still. The work not only incorporates steel and blue debris netting, but also lists the wind as a key material. The inclusion of wind in the list of materials underscores the importance of movement and the world at large in understanding the piece. The sculpture also draws on both Jordan’s and April’s unique artistic approaches to create a singular work of art. We Move Still takes influence from Jordan’s desire to “[look] for ways in which bodies and objects share an expression that is informed by the language surrounding posture” and her experience in performance pieces, as well as April’s desire to “[experience] the limit of where I end and the physical world begins” and to “[collaborate] with artists and thinkers.” Nowhere was this melding of artistic experience more apparent than in the pair’s live performance on June 29th. The event included a dance performance by mother-daughter duo Anne Song Lentz and Dae Song Olson, a solo dance by Holo Lue Choy and a final duet by April and Jordan themselves, all of which combined the movement of the sculpture in the wind with dance to create a dynamic display of how We Move Still and the human bodies which interact with it share movement and space.

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Jordan, describe your creative process and influences.

In my performance and sculptural work, I respond to the ways in which bodies and objects perform and share mundane experiences. My process engages raw building materials by isolating and replicating subtle deviations in form. I am greatly influenced by the work of Trisha Brown, Félix González-Torres, and Pierre Bourdieu.

What about you April? Describe your creative process and influences.

I consider materials and forms that are suspended in constant acts of touching. Materials that emphasize contact, texture, and colour. Waves washing ashore a beach, the salt in water that makes it salient, sunlight shining on copper. I use processes that engage the movement of the sun, it’s effect on waking up the world, materially manifested in paper bleached and blued and wave movements cast in plaster.

Over the past two years, collaborating with artists and thinkers has become a prominent feature of my practice. Working with people and sharing thoughts shapes my understanding of where my inner thinking begins and ends, and how it functions when leaning, stacked, or mixed with that of others. Friendship and thinking are new materials that are available to us everywhere, and like the weather they are unpredictable, a perfect storm to experiment and learn from

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As a team, what projects have you collaborated on in the past? How do you view your collaborative work in comparison to solo projects? 

This is our first collaborative project together. The final phase of this project will be a publication that will investigate our influences on this project, as well as our own poetic writing, thoughts and language. We attended ACRE Residency and AZ West together making small works, looking at public art and brainstorming this collaboration. We have plans to continue to work on choreography together.

In our separate studio practices April chooses materials that interact with light and weather over time. Jordan focuses on queering building materials through simple bodily gestures and together our work overlaps as performative sculpture, centered around touch.

How does your time at Franconia compare to other residencies or projects you’ve completed? 

This is the first residency either of us have attended where we worked at this scale or used the entire time to create one piece. But we are familiar with Franconia’s structure of a communal living centered around sharing ideas and researching our personal interests.

What did you learn at FSP? What was the biggest challenge?

We learned to push our work into a large scale and got a deeper understanding of where our individual practices overlap. The biggest challenge was not being able to play with the materials and see the sculpture before it was installed. It was difficult to foresee and make changes when the work existed almost entirely in drawings.

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Any other projects you have coming up?

Jordan is diving back into her studio and April is heading to Switzerland for a collaborative residency with Zoë Wonfor and Lauren Chipeur. The three have been working together since 2015. They will be making work and installing from late August until mid September, followed by a one month gallery show.

April is then a resident artist at ArtTeton lab in Wyoming where she will be preparing for two shows in Chicago in the fall at Roots and Culture and ACRE projects.

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Subscribe to Franconia’s blog and never miss out on a FSP Spotlight interview. Check out earlier 2017 Spotlight installments: Nooshim Hakim Javadi and Pedram Baldari, Bill KlailaLaura Feldberga and Ojars Feldbergs! We will be featuring all of our 2017 Fellowship Artists throughout the summer, so stay tuned.

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