Jordie Oetken Hippocrene
June 28th – July 26th, 2022
Born: Louisville, KY
August 15, 1990 1:27 pm
Sun: Leo 22° 37’
Moon: Gemini 20° 03’
Venus: Leo 02° 12’
At 1:27 pm on August 15th, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky, Pluto, God of the Underworld, stood where the sun had risen and Mars, God of War, opposed him in the place where the sun would later set. Within this dynamic and alchemical tension, which could be described as an insatiable glowing ember she would have to keep fed, Jordie Oetken was born. When you are born with some part of you on fire, it is almost impossible to rest. Peace shows up on the battlefield, not by retreating from, or succumbing to the onslaught.
Her art rose from this process of stoking the fire but like Oetken herself, her art seemed to have had a life long before it was made visible. It was likely she felt it coming the way you can smell a storm before any clouds converge. And so, Oetken was not altogether surprised when its shadow settled over her. Gradually she turned to meet it and fell in love, devoting herself to its vision.
When you love something you hold it in your heart where the mind cannot forget it. Occasionally you encounter a moment, a sensation that rumbles and awakens this memory. There is speed and violence in the way Oetken relates to material, colliding with a subject, not just making observations at a safe distance. When she does step back she takes in the whole of the experience and, as the viewer, you have the feeling that you and Oetken are staggering away from some narrow escape.
On June 28, as Hippocrene opens, the Sun and Moon come together in the sign of Cancer and square Jupiter, suggesting a simultaneous desire to break free from the pressures of material experience and at the same time to descend into physicality and push the walls. Entering No Moon with only Oetken’s images to orient you, you have the feeling you have boarded a train and each photograph is a kinetic window, pulling you faster and faster away from the reality outside the gallery.
Jordie Oetken has recently exhibited at Tiger Strikes Asteroid Los Angeles and the Humid in Athens, Georgia. She has held residencies at MacDowell, Lighthouse Works, and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. She received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles and BFA from Murray State University.