Jason Oddy is an artist and writer focused on the politics of place. Using photographs and text, his work aims to identify the underlying historical and ideological forces that operate inside architectural space. It is an undertaking that has taken him to some uncommon, often highly charged locations. The Pentagon. Ex-Soviet sanatoria on the Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. The United Nations headquarters in New York and Geneva. Guantanamo Bay. Homes of the recently deceased.
For the most part Oddy uses a 5x4 plate camera, a cumbersome piece of equipment that obliges him to approach his subjects in a slow and methodical way. So that instead of being traces of a momentary perspective, the photographs he makes stand as records of a deliberate engagement with space. Above all their goal is to register the phenomenological experience of being in architecture, and to show how just as we inhabit it, architecture might also inhabit us.
In his series Concrete Spring Oddy explored the largely forgotten Algerian legacy of renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Here, instead of focusing on places such as the Pentagon or Guantanamo Bay that are shaped by fear and anxiety, he found himself confronted by an architecture of liberation and hope. The two universities campuses and Olympic sports hall Niemeyer built in the country between 1969 and 1975 representing an attempt to transform the then newly independent country into a modern outward looking nation.
As ever, his underlying aim was to highlight how the forces inherent in architectural space might influence us as subjects. His work asking whether different types of architecture might imply or even produce different types of people.
Oddy’s work has been widely exhibited in solo and group shows including at The Photographers’ Gallery (London), Yossi Milo Gallery (New York), the Milan Triennale, Paris Photo, the Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam), the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (Marseilles) and Casa Niemeyer (Brasilia).
In 2017 his book ‘Notes du désert’ was published by Grasset, Paris. In 2019 Columbia University Press (US) published his monograph ‘The Revolution Will Be Stopped Halfway: Oscar Niemeyer in Algeria’.
Oddy’s work is held in a number of public and private collections including the Wellcome Foundation, the Michael Wilson Centre For Photography, the Elton John collection, Channel 4, Citibank Private Bank, DZ Bank and the US State Department. It has also been featured in numerous publications, amongst them Modern Painters, Aperture, Art Review, the AA Files, Art on Paper and The New York Times Magazine.
He has taught and been a visiting lecturer at various institutions such as the School of Visual Arts (New York), the University of the Creative Arts (UK) and Domus Academy (Milan). He has also worked extensively as a critic, contributing articles and reviews to art magazines, journals and newspapers including Modern Painters, Art Review, Aperture, Photography and Culture and The Independent.
Website von Jason Oddy
Die Galerie ElliottHalls in Amsterdam, die Jason Oddy vertritt
Buch (2017): Notes du désert
Buch (2019): The Revolution Will Be Stopped Halfway’: Oscar Niemeyer in Algeria