HAEMOSCURO by Jordan Eagles who works solely with gallons upon gallons of blood obtained from a slaughterhouse. By manipulating the blood through heating, burning, aging, mixing with copper, adding foreign materials, and then encasing it in plexiglass and UV resin, Jordan is able to capture an array of organic designs.
*I posted some of his works earlier but this is his installation view at Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art.
Jordan Eagles, “Haemoscuro” (2012): Perhaps no artist has worked so extensively with the sole medium of blood to churn out such a diverse breadth of images and objects, ranging from light projectors, to glass boxes, to blood preserved on plexiglass with UV resin. Other artists have done similar explorations of images that run between graphical and solid form, installation design, and etherial light (the French art collective/workshop, Atelier Damien Valero springs to mind), but I cannot think of anyone who has done it as compellingly as Jordan Eagles. Eagles employs a creative process or methodology that feels very scientific and technological while at the same time alchemical or magical (what I like to call the “How’d he do that?” phenomenon.)
The clever neologistic title of this exhibition, “Haemoscuro,” translates from Latin to something like dark, obscure, shadowy blood. It plays off of other familiar art historical tropes like chiaroscuro and camera obscura—both apropos considering the “dark room” effect with the light projector and the high contrast between dark and light values. There does indeed seem to be a depth or chthonic underbelly to this visceral blood. As for obscurity: the body serves as an archetypal site of the sacred and the profane, and contemporary artists have long shown how blood tends to obfuscate the boundaries between these two poles. However, rather than gesture towards religious ritual, like Andres Serrano, Eagles’ imagery points towards the sublime dimensions of the cosmos and the origins of life.
Like Serrano, the formal beauty of these images serves as an antidote or anesthetic to a bodily substance we normally find revulsive. I’ve made the comparison before with Serrano, but even more so here, I’m reminded of Gerhard Richter’s series of Cibachrome photographs titled after characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet—extreme close-ups of swirling oil paints mixed with lacquer and water, resulting in palpable abstractions suggestive of iridescent oil films or cosmic nebulae.