Currently chair of the Department of Visual Arts, Matthew Jesse Jackson teaches courses grounded primarily in the contemplation of cultural experience since 1945. His recent scholarship has focused on two related phenomena: the performative character of scholarly activity (the lecture) and the fictive character of scholarly narration (the text). Most of his work of the preceding decade, often produced with collaborators under the rubric of Our Literal Speed, has been dedicated to investigating how lectures and texts might manifest wisdom and knowledge. His newest book Il’ia i Emiliia Kabakovy (Moscow: Breus Foundation, 2019), a Russian-language survey of the art of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, will be appearing later this year.
Jackson is the editor and co-translator from the Russian of Ilya Kabakov: On Art (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and the author of The Experimental Group: Ilya Kabakov, Moscow Conceptualism, Soviet Avant-Gardes (University of Chicago Press, 2010; paperback, 2016), winner of the Robert Motherwell Book Award from The Dedalus Foundation for outstanding publication in the history and criticism of modernism in the arts, as well as the Vucinich Book Prize for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Jackson’s own writing can be found in Afterall, Apollo, ARS, Artforum, Art Journal, ARTMargins, Berfrois, BlackBook, Bookforum, The Brooklyn Rail, caareviews, Critical Inquiry, InterReview, Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, M/E/A/N/I/N/G, Museum International, New Left Review, October, Oxford Art Journal, Shifter, Slavic Review, Slavic and East European Journal, Slavonic & East European Review, and Third Text.
Since 2006, Our Literal Speed has participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program as a Studio Fellow, received a Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts Grant, an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Creative Capital Foundation Arts Writers Grant, the Epson Fondazione Antonio Ratti Prize for Artistic Research, and was named a Paul D. Fleck Fellow at the Banff Centre, while being invited to appear and/or exhibit at various locales, including: Art Institute of Chicago; Banff Centre (Banff, Alberta); Bergen Assembly Triennial (Bergen, Norway); Blue Star Contemporary (San Antonio); Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal); Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA); Center for Contemporary Art Lagos; Critical Distance Centre for Curators (Toronto); Documenta 13 (Kassel, Germany); Fondazione Antonio Ratti (Milan); Gallery 400 (University of Illinois, Chicago); Welch School of Art & Design, Georgia State University (Atlanta); Gund Gallery at Kenyon College (Gambier, OH); Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; Institute of Fine Arts (New York); Kolnischer Kunstverein (Cologne); MACBA (Barcelona); McIntosh Gallery (London, Ontario); Museum of Modern Art (New York); The New School (New York); Performa (New York); Pitzer College Art Galleries (Claremont, CA); Princeton University; REDCAT (Los Angeles); Renaissance Society (Chicago); Rhode Island School of Design; TEMP Gallery (New York); University of Southern California; Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Cape Town), and ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany).
Jackson’s own research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Clark Art Institute, the Getty Research Institute, and the Social Science Research Council. He earned a Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley thanks to Anne M. Wagner and T.J. Clark, and is also A.B.D. in Russian Literature, having been awarded M.Phil. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa summa cum laude with a BA in French and German from the Florida State University.
Jackson was born, raised, and (barely) graduated from high school among the gently rolling hills of Shelby County, Alabama and his current writing project is Vernacular Modernism All Over the Deep South.