Jason Kendall was born and raised in Columbia South Carolina. He briefly majored in Studio Art while participating in the football program at the University of South Carolina and North Greenville College. Leaving South Carolina he attended Art school at Ringling College of Art & Design in Florida where he received his BFA in sculpture. Upon graduating from Ringling he and his wife moved to New York where they lived in Brooklyn while working at Dia Center for the Arts (a nonprofit organization that initiates, supports, presents and preserves art projects “whose nature or scale” would preclude other funding sources). Also while in New York he received his MFA from New York University while teaching undergraduate classes in the fine art department. In 2009 Jason returned to South Carolina after his twin girls were born. Now back in Columbia Jason works as an art teacher and spends most of his time in the studio developing new projects around ideas involving southern masculinity and blue-collar work ethic.
kendallproject’s site-specific exhibition revolved around three areas of investigation adjoining the three main female characters from the Wizard of Oz. The narrative that developed is augmented by the sounds of Pink Floyd’s famous guitar licks, which gives a nod to the urban legend, which initiated the project. In this narrative Dorothy resides in the realm of identity construction, the Wicked Witch is immersed in personal narrative and Glinda lives with the absurdity of masculinity in sports. These three characters and their themes collide within the walls of Tapp’s creating a funnel of energy that comes to rest at the conclusion of the artist’s stay at the center.
In the space you will find that Dorothy has created yellow bricks. Simply by her dropping dirty cinder blocks into yellow paint transforms the blocks into meaningful objects, much like an artist does when they “play” with materials in the studio. However, because of the physicality of accomplishing this task it resides in the domain of construction work. As in the original story Dorothy remains the accidental protagonist that navigates a space between a native and foreign land to discover who she is (her identity). The “Wicked” witch struggles to get a guitar-broom “in tune” by changing the strings endlessly. She is to blame for whatever “bad” is happening in the narrative, much the same the way rock n roll musicians were presented by the church as blame for all the transgressions of its youth. Glinda is the pendulum that swings back and forth in the narrative that connects Dorothy and the Witch. She is an inanimate object (tackling dummy) that is activated by their outside actions. She is the object that creates resistance in the character’s relationship that eventually accelerates and collides in the exhibition space. This produces a haunting atmosphere that is contained by the rearrangement and filtering of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
The exhibition consists of performance props that have been reconstructed in to installations, videos, photographs and drawings all constructed into a cyclical arrangement throughout the space that feels as if it went through a cyclone and came to rest inside the walls of Tapp’s.