un-Suicide Note, 2011
ballpoint on paper
6 in. x 8 1/2 in.
un-Suicide Note is a five page hand-written note, a long and detailed meditation on the philosophy of continued existence. The letter is an "iterated edition"—each copy transcribed from the previous one, permitting variations in format and errors and corrections to work their way through the entire edition. Initialed and numbered inside the envelope.
James Leonard engages in the ephemera and anxiety of being at a time of human induced crises. Via his work, Leonard grapples his own emotional and psychological responses to compound environmental and socio-economic emergencies. Influences on his work include formalisms such as the fractal nature of mortality, the phenomenological experience of space/time, and the neurological emergence of meaning. His studio practice is guided by archaic, yet relevant, conceptions of artistic mysticism, drawing from traditions of gnosis, the sublime, and genius. Meanwhile, his exhibition practice is inspired by the more urgent practices of activism and civic debate.
Leonard received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 1996 and his Master of Fine Arts with a focus on Complex Systems Theory from the University of Michigan in 2004. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, producing a variety of sculptures, drawings, manufactured multiples, and numerous performative conceptual works.