Janine Gordon is an artist on the fringe. During the 90’s, she explored through borderline experiences different subcultures such as rap, graffiti, or punk rock music. She likes to work different media into her artistic practice such as photography, painting, video or music in an exploration of social, political and creative frontiers.
This new series Stunting involves the investigation into the thrill-seeking, risk-taking world of motorcycle, AV8 and dirt bike stunts. There is both a recent widespread fascination in suburban American culture as well as intense incorporation into Urban Hip Hop Culture, such as in music videos of artists such as DMX, Lil’ Kim and Jadakiss.
Depicted in the motorcycle burner photographs is a sublime sense of serenity, capturing a silent moment in dangerous and frenetic chaos. On occasion, the smoke emitting from the burning tires covers the span of the photograph, leaving the activity barely visible. From wheelies, to burning out one’s tires (Burners), Av8s and Dirt Bike jumps, Janine Gordon has been meeting various enthusiasts of these sports and only through an inner circle has she been able to access their arena.
The photographs were captured both at impromptu events and planned contests predominantly in the suburbs or renegade style on the back streets of Brooklyn, New York City, where the artist resides.
“The presentation of Stunts, Stunts and Having Fun?? circumvents the notions of risk-taking & thrill-seeking in various subcultural factions in society. From the ecstatic desire which inspires people to throw themselves in passioned rages of mosh pits to the fascination for pseudo sexual motorcycle stunt, to the rugged lifestyle of gangs of Brazilian glue-sniffers, the underlying essence is the element of “bonding” within each of the specific subcultures and the experience of living life on the edge.
A similar rush of adrenaline rush is the act of slam-dancing, or moshing in a mosh pit at a concert. The ritualistic and expressive dance is magnified by violent motions of pushing, shoving, jumping and sometimes punching, kicking and body-surfing on a crowd. Moshing is potentially fatal and is one of the most violent and dirtiest dances that youth culture embraces today. Whether fashion, sports, attitude or culture embraces and fosters these activities, they are ever present and exceedingly popular. The images from all three series are connected not only by the artist’s agenda to derive art from her reality, but within an ideology of the escapade.”