Jordan Wolfson (US)

Real Violence, 2016

VR film with sound, 1 min 30


Over the past decade, Jordan Wolfson has become known for his thought-provoking and controversial works in a wide range of media, including video, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance. 

He pulls intuitively from the world of advertising, the Internet, and the technology industries to produce ambitious and enigmatic narratives. However, instead of simply appropriating found material, the artist creates his own unique content, which frequently revolves around a series of invented, animated characters.

Presented here is a visceral Virtual Reality (VR) experience of unrelenting violence. The work features a digitally manipulated film of the artist beating an unknown man on a city street. This dizzying, disorientating experience begins with a view of the sky before lurching down into a mid-town street. Here, the viewer is met with the prone form of a lone, downcast male and the artist striding over to him, armed with a baseball bat. The victim collapses after one swing to the head, but the hitting doesn’t stop. The mundanity of life goes on around this incredible scene of violence whilst Wolfson beats the body over and over again as it twitches insensibly on the floor.

We don’t know where we stand in this action, or why any of it is happening: what unfolds so intimately before us, wholly embodies the phrase ‘senseless violence’.


Courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London.