Jordan Knecht
June 2 - 25, 2023

returning is an exhibition of memory, both hyper-personal and universal. A subtle topography of rolling synthetic grass covers the ground. Records turn in the grass, buzzing and sticking in repeated loops as they struggle to play from beginning to end. The scent of fresh cut grass from a park in Missouri wafts through the room while Midwestern clouds float by on the ceiling above. 

returning is an excavation and externalization of my processing of developmental trauma in EMDR therapy, a methodology in which patients revisit and rewire memories connected to formative traumatic experiences. My memories associated with this work take place in my hometown of Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis. The smell of the grass in St. Louis beckons me into clouds of nostalgia and recollection. A universally known smell becomes particular, unmistakable. Something not universally known about grass is that its scent is evidence of damage - an odor emitted to ward off further threat - a remnant of a traumatic experience. The records in this show are sourced from my parents' collection. They conjure a journey through my childhood home, filled with the lightness of music and the darkness of my upbringing. The act of reprocessing traumatic memories through EMDR brought me understanding of my history of dissociation from my body and emotions. Grass dissociated from grass. A sky dissociated from itself. An internal temporal loop without clear resolution. This show is a document of time passed and passing. It is a record, not skipping, but playing to completion.


Artist Bio:

This is Jordan Knecht’s first solo exhibition in about five years. In the time between the last exhibition and this one, Jordan moved from Denver to Chicago, worked at a ramen shop in a basement, went through some breakups, found a therapist who did EMDR, completed graduate school during a global pandemic while teaching art at three elementary schools remotely and house sitting back and forth across the United States for about 16 months, experienced some deep self-shattering, started climbing, began DJing, founded a new performance project, almost went on tour, but caught covid instead, successfully went on tour a few months later, bought around 3,000 pounds of used turf from a football field in Denver, finished therapy, shook out around 2,000 pounds of synthetic fill from the turf with the help of some very kind friends, learned a bit about the chemistry and biology of scent, and read quite a few books while lying down by Lake Michigan. Jordan still lives in Chicago, but given the way he’s been living for the past five years, it’s reasonable to be unclear on that fact.


Public Hours:

Thursdays through Sundays, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, June 2nd – June 25th, 2023

Opening Celebration June 2nd, 6:00pm  – 9:00pm

Understudy is free-to-visit and open to all. We are located at the Colorado Convention Center / Theatre District light rail stop near 14th and Stout. Look for the Shantell Martin art bench.

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