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Jason Laning
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Greenpoint



ARTIST STATEMENT: As an artist who is also an activist and a writer, I combine politically-charged text with drawing, painting, collage, and digital media in order to critique social, economic, and political systems of domination, and to explore methods for advancing radical social change. I collect photographs from government databases, magazine advertising, and stills from television and film, and use them as catalysts for painted responses. By also incorporating invented fragments of conversation and captions, I repurpose these found images towards a direction that is often the exact opposite of their original intent: a snapshot of military officials meant to put a good face on foreign occupation and aggressive warfare instead becomes a contemplation of the suffocating brutality of imperialist militarism; or a saccharine photo intended to advertise consumer goods instead becomes an opportunity to discuss ideas for radical political action. Through this process of aestheticizing the political, I aim to support the work of radical social movements and contribute to the dialogue among creative and activist communities regarding the abusive tendencies of our systems of power—especially those patterns of behavior that serve interests that are either unintended or deliberately obscured—and, in response, to pursue effective strategies for achieving positive alternatives.
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