The Things in Between: Jen Urso

Jen Urso
“The Things in Between”

Jen Urso presents a collection of videos, photographs, drawings, and writings that explore the subtleties in between social and urban spaces in the Modified Arts exhibition, the things in between. Urso says of the project, “A lot of communication comes through during a conversation that has nothing to do with the words that are being said-through gestures, body language and facial expressions. The same complexity in apparent absence occurs in our geographical spaces. The areas of a city that are ignored, abandoned or left in between built environments also tell a lot about the city we live in. I believe it is in this negative space that we find out the most about a person or a city.”

In a series of videos, filmed conversations are edited so that all is left is the non-verbal communication, gestures, and facial expressions between the talking. Complementary photographs explore the minutiae and subtlety in the vacant lots of downtown Phoenix. Using the videos and photographs as a launching point, Urso also writes about issues of complexity, perspective and intangibles, which will be compiled in a multi-layered art book. Her writing fluidly transitions into organic, anatomical and structured imagery for a new series of drawings exploring the connections between these social and urban spaces. Her new body of work will be exhibited in the main gallery, with Urso’s yearlong daily drawing, <em>Efforts of Persistence</em>, on view in the front room.

Jen Urso was raised in Lansdale Pennsylvania and currently resides and works in Phoenix, AZ. Urso creates performance, video, and drawings that explore endurance, persistence, and change, and ignored or forgotten moments and places. She is a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant recipient and has exhibited in Arizona, New York, Colorado, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. Jen received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has attended artist residencies in Virginia and Wisconsin. In Arizona, Urso’s passion for expressing the perceived emptiness of the desert has allowed her to create images that represent the complexity and density around all of us. Her past exhibitions have captured transformations, moments and places that are overlooked or forgotten, and fortitude through video, pictures, and abstract drawings.

the things in between
Jen has published 75 limited-edition books that encapsulate research, discoveries and creations made while chronicling in-between places in social interaction and physical space.