Jordan Strafer, still from DECADENCE, 2024. Video, colour, sound, 20:26. Courtesy the artist. Co-commissioned by The Vega Foundation and Renaissance Society. Collection of The Vega Foundation.

Jordan Strafer’s video work revolves around stories personal to the artist, as well as to gender, sexuality, race, and class as seen through the complex prism of “Americanism.” DECADENCE (2024) is the second chapter of a larger film project that begins with LOOPHOLE (2023), dealing with a romantic affair between a defense attorney and a juror during a nationally publicized rape trial in the United States in the 1990s. DECADENCE is elliptical, incorporating events from the night of the alleged rape and the defense’s celebration after the acquittal.

DECADENCE references the erotic thriller, a genre popular in the 1990s. Strafer depicts the loss of structure and order, seeking to expose the power, greed, and corruption that underlay the act of sexual violence. Absurd situations in Strafer’s work redirect the focus from the plot to the viewer’s own way of seeing and, through the staged and alienated form, allow a critical stance towards a society defined by questionable morals and injustices.