J.J. Adams’s first publication, Flowers In Temporary Hands, pairs images with language to establish a symbolic universe that mixes personal memory, loss, and desire. Composed of three sections that address different periods in the artist’s life, Flowers in Temporary Hands acts as a timestamp to closure.
In The Toothpaste Diaries, Adams shares pages of their journal: a collection of drawings, collages, and writing created during a defining moment of teenage incarceration. These richly layered pieces are juxtaposed with works from the Gregory Adams Archive. This collection of black and white photographs taken by the artist’s estranged grandfather document his own collegial life, from the playing field to the classroom. Poignantly capturing two distinct moments in time, The Toothpaste Diaries and the Gregory Adams Archive are threaded together by Boys Like Us: Part One, a series of formatted and densely layered poems that reflect on J.J. Adams’s past and the construction of family vs. identity.
Presented together for the first time in this intimate publication, the three bodies of work create a coexistence of time, operating as a tender portrait of 2 archives that continue to unfold. J.J. Adams is a collaboration between artist Jesse Hoffman and his grandfather, Gregory Adams’s archive. Flowers In Temporary Hands is published alongside J.J. Adams’s exhibition of the same name at moCa Cleveland, running from January 28–June 5, 2022.