Artist 14: John Henry Blatter

John Henry Blatter

He is considered as a visual, media and sound artist with diverse background includes national and international exhibitions. He serves as the editor-in-chief of Daily constitutional, a publication for the artist’s voice.  Also he is the adjunct Professor of Time Studio, VCU – Art Foundations, the studio Assistant of Kendall Buster and the production assistant in Performing Arts of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. Now he lives and works in Richmond, Virginia, where he received his MFA in Sculpture & Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University.

He said that it was “the idea of art as experience has been a large part of my development towards installation, video, and now sound installation in my work, and away from more traditional sculpture where I began.” And then Blatter continues to produce audio installations and video works that explore topics ranging from the struggle to define and understand self-identity, the anxieties and fears of how others perceive us, to the perception of an individual’s facade and how they relate as an individual in a society.

Even as a media artist, he does not blindly say something good about the media. He is more critical and objective to that.  In his work, he explores questions and tests the reality that “in our society, the technology of media has become such an integrated part of our lives that it has created a perverse sense of reality”. What’s more, he has begun to wonder “if this virtual world has desensitized us for what is actually real” when there exists a media sensory overload. Further he is wondering “is media stimulation alone, enough for us to forgo all of our other senses? For example, can these glowing images or realistic sounds, provide us with the same comfort and reassurance as a hug? And if so, is that enough?”

About his work:

As Seen on TV  is a new work that utilizes the tropes of the Infomercial to bridge the two reoccurring themes throughout Blatter’s work. The work takes it’s conceptual cues from his commentary on the Art Market/Art World and combining it with the anxieties of self reflection. I think it is a very different, interesting and attractive way to do self reflection. And this work is a show of his topic about the individual himself/herself, and how individual related to others and to the society he/she lives.

Info_1 Info_4

Moment is a 44 channel audio installation constructed from stories collected. Each story evolves around a moment in which the storyteller felt a moment of pause and singularity brought about from an intense experience, emotion or thought. I think this work actually has given an answer to his own question that ” can these glowing images or realistic sounds, provide us with the same comfort and reassurance as a hug? And if so, is that enough?”. Obviously, it is not enough. Just in this work, it was the reality and our real experience made the realistic sounds exist. All those moments were wonderful or precious or unforgettable because of the people we stayed with and our emotion at that time instead of the things themselves.

story_3  story_2



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