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J.J. McCracken


J.J. McCracken is Co-Director of Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, MD

and best known for large-scale research-driven performance art projects and sculptural installations

J.J. McCracken is also Co-Founder of CrackWood Productions, author of the Southside Music & Skateboarding Series in Mt. Rainier,

and a founding member of UnIncorporated.Syndicate, a collective of creative professionals focused on building stragies for addressing environmental concerns; UnInc. is currently focused on addressing stormwater management, and their stormwater-collection/information-hub kiosk is currently parked in front of Red Dirt Studio, 4051 34th Street in Mt. Rainier

Artist Statement/Focus

J.J. McCracken creates messy situations where performers grovel for access to resources. They are socially disconnected and eternally hungry. They are martyrs, misanthropes, thieves, ghosts, and the wronged.

Absurd and often painful tasks are endured as stress cracks form and failures reveal the body's limitations. Wet, shivering, clay-covered women eat potatoes made of clay for hours; blindfolded women hoard water, hauling it in pots that leak or break; a timekeeper fills a one-directional hourglass that slowly drains.

Built from the details of extensive research, these characters interrogate our corporate landscape while examining the artist’s own patterns of consumption. Recurring themes include malnutrition, water rights, free speech, and shouldering the weight of passing time.

Recent works include The Mouth of the Scold, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The piece is one chapter in a body of research and performance on the history of the “common scold” charge, a gender-based misdemeanor offense used to punish “outspoken” women. McCracken repurposes a ducking stool—an archaic punishment device used to shame a woman for voicing her opinion—into a tool: during the performance, the contraption was used as a lift. Accessing a space high on a wall in the museum’s Great Hall, the artist installed a portrait of a woman in a traditional space full of monuments to men.

J.J. McCracken is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Sculpture (2014), a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2011/12), and two grants from the Puffin Foundation (2013 and 2011). McCracken holds a bachelors degree in Anthropology from The College of William and Mary (1995) and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from The George Washington University (2005). She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2012.

J.J. McCracken is currently building large-scale projects at Red Dirt Studio in Mt. Rainier, Maryland, while serving as Red Dirt’s Co-Director.
McCracken is represented by CONNERSMITH in Washington, D.C.

E-mail j.j.mccracken@gmail.com
Web Links Website
Location Red Dirt Studio
4051 34th Street
Mt. Rainier
Upcoming Events

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Entry Added ByCrackWood Productions | Entry #2630

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