January Artist in Residence: Jackie Furtado
This month LATITUDE welcomes Jackie Furtado as our first artist-in-residence of 2018!
Born in Bad Windsheim, Germany, Jackie Furtado was the product of young military divorcees. Arriving to the states shortly after, she split her time in southern California and the Chicago land area. Jackie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. With her primary focus in fine art photography, she uses the medium to methodically disassemble and disparately reconstruct symbols of home spaces near and far. Her work has exhibited nationally and internationally with Of the Afternoon, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Coat Check, Iceberg Projects, Vessel & Page, Higher Pictures, and Secret Dungeon. While in residence at Latitude, she will begin the production of artist-book, High Fever. High Fever is a collection of photographs that spans a ten year period with a direct focus on the artist’s youngest sister, Taylor Walker.
Q & A
When you're shooting a new project, what do you choose to leave out of the photograph?
As of late, I have been thinking of photography in terms of reduction. So much of my photographic impulse is to shoot when the least amount of context is available. Sometimes I push this further but getting closer to my subjects to not allow the depth of a scene to become distracting, sometimes this appears in landscape images that are intently claustrophobic. I prefer the sensation of not feeling grounded when I look at the art I’ve made. The context is wrapped up and heavily weighted in the individual, objects, landscapes that I shoot. When I’m able to make work from them, I lean in a photographic direction thats outcome is more perplexing than comforting. In regards to projects, I never set out to work in a tunnel vision structure. The images come as they do, and the output (book, exhibition, features… etc) really dictate the conversations. By not having specific needs from my images, they can ebb and flow throughout my entire body of work.
When you're not working in the studios, what can you be found doing?
I have a pretty predictable schedule outside of working in my home-studio. This year I worked a lot in the commercial field of photography. I currently freelance for David Zwirner Gallery and an assortment of architecture photographers, primarily as an retoucher and content manager. On occasion I will shoot architecture assignments, and art exhibitions and inventory. More recently, Aimee Franco, Brooklyn based industrial designer and ceramist, and I started Supper. Supper started in October of 2017 and we currently operate out of Aimee and her partner’s home. The midwest taught us to invite people into your home, and we both miss this aspect here in New York. Supper is more or less a supper club for creative types. Other than that, I enjoy movies, long walks on the beach, and taking baths.
Your first solo exhibition Alone Walker opened this year, how did you land on the idea of invoking a spatial experience for the viewer?
Prior to the site installation titled alone walker, curator Greg Gentret and I had done a studio visit together. He was really drawn to my piece Devoted Sands, Sea and proposed a show of the work at Secret Dungeon. D.S.S. in its true length is 40 feet long, split into eight panels each 4 feet by 5 feet. The eight panels construct a singular image, a portrait of my brother, Andrew Walker. When I was first introduced to the layout of the gallery, I quickly realized the wallspace could not show the work in its entirety. This was really the driving force of reconsidering the installation, and made alone walker site specific. I selected three panels of the eight - panel two, panel four, and panel five. The installation of these works indicate the abbreviated presentation; panel five leans against the wall, the back wall remained blank. The intent of D.S.S. is the create momentum in the space it exhibits and to allow viewers to be more conscious in the way their body interacts in response to the art. I constructed an additional doorway in the gallery and painted the space grey to further promote the act of walking. The two additional pieces in the show, i was carrying me, and blue feet are the first and last piece you encounter, each promoting the trail in more traditional presentations of photographs. In a recent artist talk, it became obvious that the show would have benefited to having a separate exit. I like the idea of viewers walking in a loop, and being able to experience the show again and again. The unexpected experience of the panels were how much of the corners of the gallery really became the most effective way to the view and see the art.
What are you planning to work on during the residency?
I will begin the early stages of an artist- book, High Fever. High Fever will be a collection of photographs that span a ten year period with a direct focus on my youngest sister, Taylor Walker. Much of this project will require me to look at all my work over the years. I will be scanning, making selections, sequencing, and ideally be able to create varying working drafts. While that will be my main focus, I am currently on the road right now making work throughout California. I started just outside of San Diego and am now near Yosemite. Later this week I will head back south. I have plans to produce this work once I touch down in Chicago and see how the work corresponds/aligns with my other California-based work that I’ve made over the years.
How might your previous work dealing with deconstructing familial relationships inform this new project?
The book feels a bit like a departure from how I normally treat and think about my photography. It seems like the book will be the most photo based work I will have made in a while. The concept completely embraces the medium, rather than working against it. The book will deal directly with the time I’ve spent photographing Taylor. Images acting as records of Taylor’s change in adolescent, the time that exists in between each image, and more importantly how Taylor and I’s relationship may feel dependent on the act of photographing.
Since you spent a majority of your youth and adult life in Chicago, how would you describe your relationship to the midwest?
When I left Chicago in 2015, I was feeling flatlined, and was hoping a change would ignite something in me. It certainly did, but my new dilemma was the effect of leaving Illinois, and being even further from California. Half of my family still lives in the suburbs where I grew up in outside of Chicago, making my relationship still an active one. I work to return, and I return to be with family and make work. I think the cycle will continue on until my siblings leave and pursue their own lives. Until then, I am usually in Chicago two to three times a year, and California once a year. I am really looking forward to being back in Chicago for a whole month. I’m excited to focus on my own work, see friends I have missed, and indulging in the food I have missed even more. I’m looking forward to having lunch with my mom throughout the week, and photographing my siblings before my brother makes his move to LA.
Are there any current movies, books, magazines, or podcasts that you recommend for people to check out about art and/or photography?
Not all of my recommendations will be directly related to art and/or photography - but here is what I’ve been enjoying!
Podcast: Where Should We Begin - Esther Perel, Magic Hour - Jordan Weitzman
Books: Philosophy of Photography - Vilém Flusser, Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay, Tiny Beautiful Things - Cheryl Strayed