Jonathan Durham received his MFA in sculpture from UCLA and in 2007 completed a two-year residency at the CORE Program Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Durham's practice explores the porous boundaries between the self and the environment. His sculpturally driven projects raise questions about how industry and technology make their impressions on our bodies and the land by drawing parallels between state violence and environmental harm. His work has been exhibited internationally including Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Galerie fur Gegenwartskunst, Bremen, Germany. He is the recipient of an Aunspaugh Fellowship from the University of Virginia where he received a dual BA in Studio Art and Psychology. He has taught Sculpture, Drawing, Performance and Critical Issues Seminars at the University of Virginia, Rice University, University of Houston, Auburn University and the Elmore Correctional Facility in Elmore County Alabama. Durham has participated in numerous artist residencies including VCCA, Recess, NY,.“Session", SHIFT -The Elizabeth Foundation, Socrates Sculpture Park EFA Program, Bemis Arts Center and the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Durham is Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.
My work in sculpture and performance explores the porous boundary between the self and the environment. I draw parallels between the forms and implements of state violence and resource extraction to visualize how industry, technology and western culture do violence on the land and our bodies. I have a genuine curiosity for the equipment of extraction - from fantastical diamond tipped drill bits to everyday propane tanks. I’m considering how we create these forms as extensions of our bodies. I view these objects as external projections of inward trauma and often weave their digital avatars into live action video and performance. My focus is on things like seams, holes, perforations and breaches - the language of bodies. I use traditional techniques along with newer 3D modeling/scanning and CNC processes. When casting objects, sometimes I only show the mold as a way of exploring both the literal and subjective impressions these objects make on our lives. Sometimes my sculptures are indecipherable from the reference objects and call into question a crisis of information - what is fake? What is real? Often my sculptures have been described as fossils from an uncertain future. In recent performances and videos my subject matter has come from interviews with environmental activists. These accounts of corporate abuse and absurdity are often woven together with my own writing and memories to create artworks that hold multiple conflicting viewpoints.