Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MOCRA: Sunday, 20 January 2013

Join us this Sunday at Saint Louis University’s Museum of Contemporary Religious Art (MOCRA) for the opening of a new exhibition

Jordan Eagles: BLOOD / SPIRIT
January 20 - May 12, 2013
free public opening reception with the artist on Sunday, January 20 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Jordan Eagles began using animal blood as a painting medium in response to a philosophical debate with his best friend about life after death, and the connection between body and spirit. Traditional red paint fell short of expressing the emotional vitality that Eagles sought, so he ventured to local slaughterhouses. But the works he created changed shade as the blood oxidized, causing Eagles to develop a means of suspending and encasing the blood in Plexiglas and UV resin in a way that permanently retains the organic material's natural colors, patterns, and textures. His innovative
technique challenges nature by preventing the works from decomposing. Eagles’ use of blood evokes reflections on the corporeal and the spiritual, on the scientific and the mystical, on mortality and regeneration. In MOCRA’s unique former chapel space, the potency of these themes becomes particularly acute.

Even the very processes by which Eagles prepares his medium show a ritualistic sensibility. He uses various mark-making methods, including layering the blood at different densities as well as heating, burning, and aging the material. Copper, an electrical conductor, imparts a fiery energy to some works. Loosely woven gauze saturated with blood and encased in Plexiglas echoes burial cloths and ancient wrapping rituals. In some instances, decomposed blood is ground into dust and tossed into the works as a sign of passing and change. Eagles also creates immersive “blood illumination” pieces in which transparent preserved blood works are projected onto the walls. The MOCRA exhibition includes examples of all of these techniques. Highly textural and dimensional works, most incorporating copper, will be presented in MOCRA’s side chapel galleries, while a site-specific installation of “blood illumination” pieces will be projected onto the walls and ceiling of MOCRA’s balcony gallery. The centerpiece is the massive nine-panel, 32-foot-wide installation, *BAR 1­9*, on display in MOCRA’s central nave gallery.

Regular museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. MOCRA is located at 3700 West Pine Mall on the campus of Saint Louis University in midtown St. Louis. Please call 314.977.7170 for directions, parking information and all other inquiries, or e-mail the museum at mocra@slu.edu, or visit mocra.slu.edu.


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