Theis, Jared

skulptur, installasjon, performance, video

Artist statement

-- Åpent atelier lørdag 17. september 2022 --

The past seven years I have been building a type of personal mythology or
system that follows a group of fantastical creatures through time and stages of
evolution. These investigations are realized through sculpture, installation,
performance and video. I use the system as a lens to look back at life on earth,
human societies and our own evolutionary path. I’m particularly interested in
vulnerability and how organisms adapt to their environment. The narratives in my
work are reinterpretations of mythological themes I learned from childhood. I
explore the origins of these characters, their relationship to their environment and
spiritual growth.

Many of the characters are driven by primal instincts. Over time some have
evolved and discovered new means of engaging their environment. I use
extinction events, deaths and natural disasters as a means of accelerating this
process. I move back and forth through time where events that occurred
thousands of years before affect the outcome of the present and future. Some of
the characters have a childlike innocence while others are manipulative and
cruel. They awkwardly navigate their world to the best of their abilities.

I play the role of these characters, utilizing sculptural suits that connect me to
these spaces. The suit becomes a means of entering these worlds and exploring
different states of being. During the performances I imagine myself as a
survivalist creature, enacting a series of rituals that have deep roots in my own
experiences. I see these rituals as a means of reconnecting with a very distant,
deeply embedded part of myself. I document the performances through video
and use the documentation as a foundation for building the mythology.

The work speaks to a kind of nostalgia or sentimentality from another time. This
human longing of a utopian world where “everything’s going to be alright”. Music
videos and children’s television programming of the 1970s and 80s are important
references in building the mythology as well as shape-shifting performers like
David Bowie and Prince. I’m also attracted to kitsch, camp and the question of
what is good taste or has meaning in our culture? I like to arrive at larger issues through humor. As the characters evolve, many elements from our cyber-
obsessed culture have entered the work such as video gaming and social media. One character has a cooking show, another is a karaoke singer, another a tragic
figure. They exist in an alternate world strangely similar to our own.

USF Verftet, Georgernes Verft 12
5011 Bergen



Jared Theis

Born in 1977, Oklahoma City

2012 University of California, Davis, MFA in Art Studio
2001 University of Texas, San Antonio, BFA in Art

Awards & Residencies
2022 AiR Bergen Residency at USF Verftet, Bergen, Norway
2019 KHIO, Oslo National Academy of the Arts Residency, Norway
2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation Residency, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
2019 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft Residency, Texas, USA
2017 Künstlerhaus Bethanien Residency, Berlin, Germany
2017 Luminaria Artist Grant, San Antonio, Texas, USA
2014 Statens Kunstnerstipend, Kulturrådet, Norway Arts Council, Oslo
2012 Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award, New York City, New York, USA
2012 Robert Arneson Award, University of California, Davis, USA
2011 Freemon P. Gadberry Award, University of California, Davis, USA
2010 Freemon P. Gadberry Award, University of California, Davis, USA

Exhibitions & Screenings

2021 Noplace Gallery, Oslo, Norway
Solo Exhibition

2020 The Front Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Golden March
Solo Exhibition

2020 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, Texas, USA
In Residence
Group Exhibition

2019 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
Space Is The Place
Group Exhibition

2019 Tent Haus, Oslo, Norway
Open Video X
Group Exhibition

2019 KHIO, Oslo National Academy of the Arts Residency, Norway
Screening of Various Works

2019 Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Four-Person Solo Exhibition

2018 Hello Gallery, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Creature Feature
Group Exhibition

2018 Clamplight Gallery, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Under the Sparkle Sunshine
Solo Exhibition

2018 Texas Arthouse, Johnson City, Texas, USA
Fantastical Beasts
Group Exhibition

2017 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
Screening of “The Seasons”

2017 Northeast Lakeview College San Antonio, Texas, USA
Worlds in Flux
Solo Exhibition

2016 Manetti Shrem Museum, Davis, California, USA
Screening of Wet Dreams

2016 Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
The Only Way Is Up
Group Exhibition

2016 Mass Gallery, Austin, Texas, USA
Body Talk
Three-Person Exhibition & Performance

2016 Oslo Prosjektrom, Oslo, Norway
Survival Strategies
Solo Exhibition

2015 Cinnabar Gallery, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Memory and Forgetting
Group Exhibition

2013 Jane Deering Gallery, Santa Barbara, California, USA
A Thousand Hours
Group Exhibition

2012 Richard L. Nelson Gallery, Davis, California, USA
You’ll Never Know When I’ll Show You the Never
Group Exhibition

2012 Jane Deering Gallery, Santa Barbara, California, USA
The New MFAs
Group Exhibition

2011 Richard L. Nelson Gallery, Davis, California, USA
First-Year MFA Group Exhibition

2019. Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
2019 Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
2019 Oslo National Academy of the Arts, KHIO, Norway
2017 Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, Texas, USA
2016 Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA
2016 Oslo National Academy of the Arts, KHIO, Norway
2016 Sacramento City College, Sacramento, California, USA

Yellow Maiden Costume “nothing but blue skies” installation | 2019
Champagne Glove “immaculate collection in beige” installation | 2021
Bling Three “Golden March” installation | 2019