Spit Earth: Who is Jordan Wolfson?
A film by James Crump
Produced by Ronnie Sassoon
Jordan Wolfson is both a product and a symptom of the contemporary art world, and recently considered the artist of the decade by the editors of Frieze Magazine. In 2014, the Los Angeles-based Wolfson was catapulted to notorious acclaim with his game-changing, hypersexualized Female Figure, a life-sized animatronic sculpture featuring facial recognition technology and Hollywood special effects that raised the specter of misogyny while challenging the way images of women are viewed by popular culture. While Female Figure broached post human scenarios, Wolfson’s sculpture also tested our assumptions about gender and sexuality anticipating the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Spit Earth: Who Is Jordan Wolfson? is a feature documentary film about this controversial and divisive artist who in the ensuing five years has only solidified his stature with unnerving and provocative new works that elicit extreme reactions from both critical naysayers and vocal proponents alike. Wolfson is not content to play by the rules of a conservative self-policing art market that favors the status quo, instead preferring to make us squirm as he engages a host of lightning-rod issues facing our society today; homophobia, misogyny, racism, white nationalism, antisemitism and violence to name but a few. Wolfson is an art maker on the world stage whose immersive works take on today’s endemic virtue signaling and politically correct narratives, veritably throwing it all back into our faces.
The film explores Wolfson’s most notable recent works while taking viewers on a behind-the-scenes journey to both coasts as the artist prepares his most ambitious animatronic sculpture to date. It is an intimate view of a brilliant artist whose fractured sense of self results in a constant struggle with identity, sexuality, fear and anxiety. The film features playwright Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play), artist Jeff Koons and feminist writer and novelist Erica Jong among others.
About the Producers
James Crump is an award-winning American film director, writer and producer and acclaimed art historian and curator whose recent films include Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art which premiered at the New York Film Festival with The Wall Street Journal declaring “takes its place among the great art documentaries of the past half century”; and Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco, winner of the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 DOC NYC Film Festival. Crump is an alum of the Sundance Institute’s Independent Producers Conference.
Spit Earth: Who is Jordan Wolfson? is produced by Crump and Ronnie Sassoon, executive producer on Crump’s last two films, Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco and Troublemakers. Sassoon is an art historian, designer and collector of art of the 1960s and 1970s, chiefly Zero and Arte Povera. After an early career in fashion design and advertising, she worked closely with her late husband, Vidal Sassoon, in product development, fragrance, advertising, marketing and promotion of the Vidal Sassoon brand worldwide. Today she resides in the second of two Richard Neutra homes for which she personally directed the restoration. Prior to this, she oversaw the restoration of architect Hal Levitt’s most important Beverly Hills residence. Sassoon has served on the boards of museums worldwide.
Together, Crump and Sassoon are the principals of the production company, Summitridge Pictures.