Arts & Life

Building bridges between branches

Creativity flourishes in Cal State Long Beach’s Merlino gallery as an artist manipulates his reality into an interpretative exhibition of his family tree.

Jordan Joyce, senior printmaking major, headlined his first individual exhibit this week at Cal State Long Beach’s Merlino gallery.

The exhibit , which takes on a representation of Joyce’s life, shows different time periods throughout his family tree.

In the exhibit, Joyce takes the audience on a tour of his vision over a “fake bridge,” or a connecting line between the separate branches of his family tree through articles of clothing, photography and furniture.

Joyce said that after months of amounting stress, he finally realized his vision and said he is relieved that he can share his story with the public.

“Since the end of last semester, I’ve been formulating ideas and laying things out,” Joyce said.

Lining the walls of the exhibit were framed photos of Joyce in different outfits and sceneries. Joyce brought different timelines to the stage through living room settings and jackets hanging near the doorway.

Joyce said his exhibit began with the central idea of creating a “family tree,” and his creations for the exhibit expanded from there.

Each element in the exhibit was carefully placed to weave together the story of his family tree, Joyce said, but the family tree is not to be interpreted literally.

Joyce said he used his artistic freedom to construct a family tree by using himself as a core character in every scene. He portrays his own interests as being passed down through the family tree, based upon a theory of morphic resonance, which states that biological groups, such as monkeys, pass down knowledge from generation to generation, Joyce said.

“I kind of have an overactive imagination and I like to think about different scenarios,” Joyce said. “I was doing some research and there’s this theory on ‘Morphic Resonance.”

Joyce said that based off of the theory, he said he “created multiple individuals that explain the interests of who I am today.”

He said he used himself as a stand-in for the individuals.

“I created these individuals as an explanation for the interests I have, personally, and the habits I have,” he said.

Guests at Joyce’s exhibit included family members, such as his grandmother, who appeared happy at Joyce’s vision of creating a bridge within his family tree. She was beaming while taking photos with her grandson near his exhibit.

Joyce actualized “the bridge” of his family tree with interactive pieces like the living room scenes and the jacket rack.

Although the Merlino gallery has limited space, Joyce was able to open up the room and create a spacious walk-through for his six-piece exhibit.

The exhibit is laced with a number of carefully placed pieces of nostalgia from different time periods, including vintage furniture pieces, antique cameras and army jackets, all with a story to tell.

Joyce’s exhibit is on display this week at the Merlino Gallery in the Fine Arts buildings until Thursday.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter