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.

Artist Statement:

My work in sculpture, installation 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 and technology 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. Through synthesis, deconstruction and the combination of these forms with my own body, I’m considering how we create these objects as extensions of our personal and physical anxieties. I view these extractive tools as projections of inward trauma and often weave their digital avatars into video and live performance. My focus is on things like seams, holes, perforations and breaches - the language of bodies, but underneath these physical attributes is a more fundamental question of belief. What causes humans to create things that harm the land and each other and how is this related to our spirituality? Recently I have been looking at the relationship between early oil exploration in the US and the religious fervor that fueled these often deadly financial ventures. This correlation has been linked by historians to the founding of many oil digging sites and cities that sprung up in Texas in the decades following the US Civil War.

In the studio 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. Occasionally my sculptures are indecipherable from the reference objects they mimic 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.