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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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  • To establish the kind of peace that results from the elimination of the means to . . .
    2015
    Acrylic on canvas
    . . . effectively disagree, where one group so thoroughly dominates all others into a condition of lifeless acquiescence, that the possibility for rebellion becomes unthinkable.

  • The kind of chaos resulting from a temporary lack of . . .
    2016
    Ink and acrylic on paper
    . . . controlling authority among a group of aspiring dominators fighting to emerge victorious according to their culture of competitive exploitation.

  • They became dissatisfied with symbolic gestures, no longer wanting to . . .
    2015
    Acrylic on canvas
    . . . defer power to political representatives, but to intervene directly according to their own desires: to fight the forces of domination without becoming dominators themselves.

  • To break free from the corrupting corporate influence, and . . .
    2015
    Acrylic on canvas
    . . . advance unrestrained according to political ambitions alone.

  • For your dependable obedience and loyal performance of duty, without which . . .
    2016
    Ink and acrylic on paper
    . . . our belligerent authority could not exist.

  • And with liberty for severed limbs and autonomy for the dead. And for your unintentional . . .
    2014
    Acrylic on canvas
    . . . sacrifice, a new reality for your descendents, shaped according to our own desires, birthed from the brutality we have employed.

  • Eager to differentiate friend from foe, an unrelenting search for reciprocated hostility.
    2014
    Acrylic on canvas

  • And the lasting melancholy for the viewer when those well-developed critiques, intended to . . .
    2016
    Ink and acrylic on paper
    . . . promote a change by revealing the truth about power, don't then lead to anything else. (Hardt)

  • Because we are the champions.
    2014
    Acrylic on canvas

  • A champion of peace and a conciliator; a man who took his predecessor's program of . . .
    2014
    Acrylic on canvas

  • We call them collateral because they are secondary. We would like to apologize for our . . .
    2010
    Acrylic, ink, and inkjet print on paper

  • If Obama doesn't end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, close Guantanamo, and stop . . .
    2009
    Digital image

  • Members Only
    2009
    Digital image

  • Sometimes I worry about the consequences of establishing a political system that rewards the . . .
    2008
    Acrylic, ink, and inkjet print on paper

  • It is not like putting burning coals on people's bodies. . . .
    2008
    Acrylic, ink, and inkjet print on paper

  • There is no greater threat to the continuance of this war than a soldier who refuses to fight . . .
    2009
    Acrylic, ink, and inkjet print on paper

  • National Day of Prayer
    2007
    Watercolor, ink, and inkjet print on paper

  • Our luxuries are not yet secure.
    2007
    Acrylic, ink, and inkjet print on paper

  • We don't accept applications. Only kill kill kill the poor.
    2007
    Inkjet print on billboard
 








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