Jordan Strafer, SOS (video still), 2021. HD video, color and sound, 11:08 minutes. Courtesy the artist.

Jordan Strafer, SOS (video still), 2021. HD video, color and sound, 11:08 minutes. Courtesy the artist.

Past Exhibition

Jordan Strafer: Trilogy

July 23, 2023 - November 26, 2023
Nina and Michael Zilkha Gallery


Both perversely pleasurable and pleasurably perverse, Jordan Strafer’s videos are absurd, fantastical, humorous, and, at times, violent meditations on power and the uniquely human capacity to inflict violence, be it physical, psychological, or both. The artist’s first solo museum exhibition, Jordan Strafer: Trilogy presents Strafer’s recent trilogy of videos PEP (Process Entanglement Procedure) (2019), SOS (2021), and PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER (2022), alongside a selection of related works on paper by the artist.

In her highly narrative videos, Strafer draws from both autobiography and a range of cultural sources to create what the artist refers to as “Mad Libs-like” collages of visual and textual referents that include public testimonies, psychoanalytic theory, literature, and personal memory. Often employing both puppets or dolls and human actors, Strafer is interested in the ways that dolls can serve equally as archetypes of identity, objects of projection, and stand-ins or doubles for “real” actors. Periodically, human or silicone hands enter the frames to wipe a doll’s tear with a Qtip, or to caress and reposition it, simultaneously suggesting care, control, and containment. Strafer’s videos address the insidious and violent nature of whiteness, privilege, and misogyny, while serving less as a judgment on violence and cruelty than as a testament to their very existence.


Jordan Strafer: Trilogy is organized by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and curated by Rebecca Matalon, Senior Curator, with Olivia Ek, 2022–23 University of Houston Curatorial Fellow.


Jordan Strafer: Trilogy has been made possible by the patrons, benefactors and donors to CAMH’s Major Exhibition Fund: Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Sissy and Denny Kempner, Dillon Kyle and Sam Lasseter, MD Anderson Foundation, Rea Charitable Trust, Louisa Stude Sarofim, The Sarofim Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

Extended Media