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This project was successfully funded on November 2, 2014

Jesus by the Lake

by Adam Brooks / Industry of the Ordinary


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UPDATE: We have recently passed our Target Goal of $4,000, thanks to your generous support. Now we are aiming to reach our Stretch Goal of $8,000.

Funds will shortly be disbursed to Jesus Meija who will start the process of community outreach. The Stretch Goal of $8,000 will allow us to hire a videographer and video editor. We believe that this will be a critical document of the entire process and will be shown broadly once the project is complete.

With your continued support we will fully realize what we strongly believe to be an important and timely project.

Thank you all so much for your invaluable contributions,

Adam, Mat and Jesus


Friends, colleagues and supporters,

Industry of the Ordinary (IOTO) are in the planning stages of one of our most ambitious projects and we need your help. We intend to create a portrait of every single person named Jesus in the city of Chicago. 

As with so many people in this country, we have spent much of our lives living in a country other than that in which we were born. This complicates one’s notion of home, community and identity. For some, however, there appear often arbitrary lines that are drawn around those who belong and those who do not. 

The Project

The next global crusade will be fought over language rather than economics. As white, male Anglo-American politicians struggle to come to terms with their forthcoming minority status, language has become the focal point for a ruling class seeking to maintain its stranglehold on influence. Soon enough their most prized possession will be referenced in a different accent: an other by another name. 

IOTO propose contacting all of the Jesuses who reside in the city of Chicago and offering to make their portraits in a location of their choosing. The piece will generate discussion around the current state of race relations in America and the paranoia often betrayed in the current majority population. The process of making these portraits will be documented by a videographer, provided that the subject is agreeable. 

Over the course of one year, IOTO will exhaustively document these individuals. It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 people in Chicago called Jesus. IOTO appreciate that many of them will have little interest in being documented because of immigration issues, so IOTO will hire a collaborator/community liaison, Jesus Mejia, to facilitate introductions and assuage concerns. Each individual can choose to be photographed wherever and however they want, always making sure that identities are protected if required. 

Given the sizeable task of contacting and documenting so many Chicago residents, the project will take one year to complete. To fully realize this project, IOTO will hire the aforementioned bilingual community liaison, a research assistant and a videographer/video editor. Once the portraits have been collected they will be assembled into a high definition video document. This video loop will show each portrait for thirty seconds before it dissolves into the next portrait. Each Jesus will also speak his own name as his image is displayed. The finished piece will be subsequently displayed as a video projection installation. In this way we will mark each subject’s presence, their humanity, and their voice. Finally, IOTO will gift each participant with a signed copy of their portrait. 

The most important member of our team is Jesus Mejia. He is a colleague and long term collaborator who is also bilingual. To bring him on board for the necessary year requires us to reach our minimum goal of $4000 - which is where we need your help. He will be our community liaison for the duration of the project. As we get close to that minimum target, and start the project, we will bring in our videographer, who will be documenting the entire process. When donations exceed our minimum goal we will push on with the editing of the portraits and the completion of the project with the help of our research assistant. All donations will receive a variety of recognitions depending upon support levels, which can be seen here: 

Jesus by the Lake perks 

We feel very strongly that this piece needs to be made at this time of particular social and political upheaval. Please consider partnering with Jesus and Industry of the Ordinary in this endeavor, and we thank you for your support.

Match Funds are not currently available.

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