Jeff Jahn is a curator, critic and artist based in Portland Oregon who has shown and published internationally.
The title Romance Languages, has very little to do with bodice ripping paperback novels and Valentines Day. Instead, it refers to Latin derived languages like Romanian, Catalan, French and the Swiss national language Romansh.
In the case of this window project the title is an allusion to some of the common and pervasive roots of the visual experience (zoologists call them biological releasing mechanisms). Some of these visual biological triggers are; eye spots on butterfly wings, shark fins, bright colors to attract mates or indicate poison, thorns, talons, anything that looks like food, big teeth, etc. The end result is a little bit fairytale and myth.
I consider the two installation/paintings on display as speaking dialectic variations of a similar type of visual thinking where paintings act as sculpture and as articulators of space (i.e. body language rather than written language). I like the conflicted chimerical collaborations of art and science, mixed with anime, graffiti and the unknown of fairytales. The end result hopefully ends up being an open-ended encounter with oddly attractive and uneasy objects.
- Jeff Jahn, January 2006