jess saldaña holds a BA in Music Composition and Theatre from Columbia College in Chicago, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU, and an MFA in Fine Art from Parsons with a certificate in Gender and Sexuality studies from The New School for Social Research. Their artistic work began in the public arts as a muralist on the Southside of Chicago. Transdisciplinary in practice, the work is informed by debility studies, psychoanalysis, queer theory, deconstruction, shadow feminism, and Marxist critique. Poetry, photographs, paintings, and drawings have been featured in the following; Hoochi Media (2018), Stonewall’s Legacy: Poetry Anthology (2019), Entropy Magazine (2019), among others.They have presented scholarly work at Black Portraiture[s] 2019 alongside Angela Davis, and poetry for The New Museum’s education programming. Photography from the series Trans-Landscapes—On the Edge of Entanglement was on view Jan 2020 at CICA Museum in South Korea.
Filmic mediums, poetry, performance, sculpture, and sound combine to render nuances of intimacy and unearth the hidden potentials of an interdependent sociality. The artworks seek to connect with nonhuman life, hauntings, fantasies of the queer ecstatic, notions of care, as well as those of institutional critique. Indexicality is considered regarding presence, absence, and disappearance as something that affects minoritarian senses of being. The gaze of figurative representation is delicately examined, establishing close contact or distance with the viewer. Content is co-made, whether it be reframed from existing sources, in relation to a specific site, and/or live performance. There is an interest in collaboration as a means of blurring singular authorship. The works offer an intertextual view of embodiment, events, the photograph, and the written/spoken word through documented and ephemeral forms.