Interview with Jordan Weber
Young Bloods: The First Anniversary Show, Fluxx Gallery
Young Bloods group show currently on view at Fluxx.
June 13, 2012
Well, Des Moines, Fluxx Gallery, best known for its innovative, activist art shows, recently blew out the candle on its first birthday cake. Ambitious young owner and artist Jordan Weber found a few minutes in his busy schedule of curating and creating to chat about the current show, “Young Bloods”, as well as what his vision is for year number two.
AS: Why did you decide to do a group showcase for this milestone?
JW: This show is like a big party. It was spur of the moment. We knew there were a lot of people who wanted to show again, and this was a way for us to open the doors up and not go through the whole portfolio process. It’s more laid back. It is a showcase of what we’ve had already as well as what’s to come.
Jordan Weber in Young Bloods
AS: You have a couple of pieces of your own in the show. What can you tell me about them?
JW: They are work for a few shows I have coming up in Denver and Peoria, IL, that focus on this idea of spirituality being taken over by the capitalist and conformist ideology that we live in, with spirituality taking a back seat to everything. I’ve always done work that is against capitalism and consumer culture, but now I’m delving deeper into the reasons why we think that way.
Michael Watson, 5:AM, Jon Pearson, Ben Gardner & Emily Newman in Young Bloods
AS: How does this collection of pieces represent Fluxx - both where it’s been and where it’s going?
JW: I think it’s a view of the past and the future for Fluxx. Initially we wanted all activist shows. We found quickly that there are probably only three or four strong activist artists working in Des Moines right now, so we had to do some shows that weren’t really backing up our mission statement. In the future we will book more activist shows.
Secondly, we try to get artists in here who aren’t as worried about making money off the work as they are about getting their ideology across. We really want to be somewhere in between a gallery and a museum.
AS: Why Des Moines?
JW: I grew up here, and my mom studied art at Drake. I don’t believe there’s ever been a truly contemporary museum here. The Art Center does stuff, but there is nowhere for everyday people to come in and feel welcome and get some sort of philosophical view on art. Normally, if it’s too deep for people, they have a tendency to be turned off. We felt it was important to melt everything together: to do important work that people can relate to, that they can eat up, and not feel unwelcome when they walk through the doors, or pressured that they have to buy something.
I came back to Des Moines after spending time in Europe and all around the U.S., really immersing myself in the street art scene. I think it’s extremely important for people from Des Moines to try to grow the scene in some way, and I think it’s extremely frustrating when you have people from outside the city and from the smaller towns around that don’t really know Des Moines that well. It’s important for us to take responsibility and take the art scene into our own hands. It’s up to us.
AS: I don’t think many people realize that you actually live here in the gallery. What’s it like having the public just be able to walk into your home?
It took some getting used to, but the energy of people is great. We’ve had only a few people walk in and not want you to talk to them, but the majority of people in Des Moines are pretty friendly, so when people walk in and you approach them in a friendly way, they respond. It’s fun to get to talk to people in such a random way.
Edward Kelley in Young Bloods
AS: What is in store for the second year of Fluxx Gallery?
JW: We want to continue to be a place that artists from all over the world want to show at, to be one notch on their belt, a strong gallery they can present to other places to get into larger and larger galleries and museums.
I also want some expansion. I like the idea of shipping crate containers being dispersed throughout Des Moines, with open studio space available to be rented out and the artists can present a show at the end of their residency. Either that or some sort of huge space we could offer residencies or some sort of space that artists could really sink into as studio space. That’s the goal right now: Expansion of the scene.
Fluxx Gallery is located at 333 East Grand, #104, in Des Moines.
Phone: 515-864-8216. Web: www.fluxxgallery.com.