Jason Oddy’s work is an investigation of place. From the Pentagon to Guantanamo Bay, and from ex-Soviet sanatoria to cryonics facilities in America, he has sought to lay bare the workings of sites of historical and social importance. Alongside this largely political corpus of work he has also produced a number of parallel series, meditations on the redemptive power of space, both natural and manmade.
Rose Tinted (2015) both continues and extends artist Jason Oddy’s longstanding exploration of place. Much of his previous work has focused on the political. In Rose Tinted, Oddy instead engages with place in a more personal way.
Prompted by his own reminiscences of Brockley, he investigates the nature of memory and place, his journey moving concentrically outwards from individual experience, to consider the dynamics between these two fundamental components of who we are.
For this work Oddy has mined his own archive, bringing together images he has previously exhibited as well as some he has never shown before. A number of the pictures are from a series he produced in London’s Robert Adam designed Home House shortly after it had been vacated by the Courtauld Institute. It is also the place that gave rise to the title of this work. Rose tinted. A term that derives from the pink glass used in drawing room windows during the 18th century, its purpose to enhance the complexions of society ladies. Today a single pink pane survives, a literal window into a more genteel age.
Of course the past is never so straightforward. Through anamorphosis, elision and juxtaposition Oddy questions his own recollections, as well as the process of memory as a whole. Can the associations that place engenders ever really be trusted? Or is the past inevitably prey to distortions and omissions, somewhere we are undoubtedly familiar with, but which in the end we will never fully grasp?
His work has been exhibited internationally including at The Photographers’ Gallery (London), Yossi Milo Gallery (New York), the Milan Triennale and Paris Photo. It has been featured in publications such as Modern Painters, Aperture, Art Review, the AA Files, Art on Paper and the New York Times Magazine. In the autumn / winter of 2015/6 Oddy’s work will be on view at the Tropenmusem (Amsterdam) and MuCEM (Marseilles).
Oddy is also taking part in the Deptford X festival (running concurrently with Bread and Jam) where he is showing a related piece of work.