Memphis, TN | Painting, Sculpture, Mixed Media, Printmaking, Drawing, Performance, Installation
Cedar Nordbye is an artist practicing in Memphis, Tennessee working across disciplines of performance, installation, writing, and printmaking to address topics of conflict, idea construction, language, arguments, geography, and the interrelationships between seemingly unrelated things. His works, which often involve friendly arguments with strangers, have taken place at the Louvre, Death Valley, the Empire State Building and a line of locations along the 35th parallel. Raised in California in an often itinerant family, Nordbye was educated at Hampshire College and the University of Iowa and now makes his home in the Mid-South. Nordbye is Associate Professor of Art at the University of Memphis where he serves as the Foundations Coordinator.
My studio research consists of two branches which are interwoven: 1, an investigation of visual communication through the creation of objects and environments building on the traditions of printmaking, painting and installation art; and 2, the utilization of dialogic, relational, performative methods to engage diverse segments of the population in conversations about ethics and politics.
In my creation of print-drawing-collage objects and installations I work modularly, creating composite forms which are constellations of visual ideas, sometimes functioning as rhebus-like idea strings. My images are assembled in such a manner as to suggest that they are provisionally joined, reinforcing their openness and suggesting the possibility of viewer participation (on an implied if not actual level). These visual arrangements serve as analog equivalents of web-based information flows.
In my dialogic or relational work I explore the phenomenon of talking with strangers. Vital to the function of a democracy is the existence of conversations between strangers, particularly discussions of nationally contested subjects about which the participants disagree. I am interested in the sculpting of human interaction and the dance of rhetoric, ego and debate that occurs when I speak with strangers in public spaces about issues that are not conventionally discussed due to their contentious nature.