UA associate professor Chris Jordan‘s new book, Nowhere in Place (GFT Publishing, 2021), explores the meeting place between meditation and photography with pictures Jordan has taken in his travels to Alabama, Colorado and India. Jordan’s practice is to meditate before going out to take pictures, which allows him to “see the world in fresh ways, appreciating overlooked details that might escape a mind preoccupied with business-as-usual.”
Jordan will present an exhibition of his work from Nowhere in Place at Harrison Galleries, November 5-22, with a First Friday opening reception, Nov. 5, 6-9 pm. Harrison Galleries is located at 2315 University Boulevard in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The book is introduced by Zen Buddhist teacher and poet Hank Lazer, who has published more than thirty books of poetry and received the Harper Lee Award for lifetime achievement in literature. It has been praised by leaders in the photography field such as Aline Smithson, founder and editor-in-chief of Lenscratch, who writes, “For this collection, [Jordan] slows down and really sees—details, nature, marks of humanity in places around the globe…Jordan’s engagement goes beyond place to a state of perception, and it inspires us to slow down and appreciate all that the world has to offer.”
A common denominator in all of Jordan’s work is a sense of place and how photography can be used for reflection, memory and contemplation. Jordan, who is an associate professor of photography at UA, says that he also maintains an intensive “householder” spiritual practice, integrating yoga, meditation and mindfulness into his life and work. His photographs have appeared in Diffusion: Unconventional Photography, Lenscratch, the national traveling photography exhibition, “Spinning Yarns” and numerous exhibitions in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“The photograph for me becomes a timeless visual meditation, a record of what was seen and heard and felt; it is also an opportunity to see an image right now. Awareness through photography is always in the present tense, independent of time. Awareness thus delights in the flow of the senses, and awareness can become the flow itself and the delight. Awareness is everywhere, enabling the multi-sensory aspects of vision, looking inward and outward. Things and places are felt, seen, heard, and recognized all at once. It is when this convergence happens that I snap the shutter and make a picture.” – Chris Jordan, Nowhere in Place, page 133
For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in art history and studio art, visit our Degree Programs page.