No Longer Showing.
For his first New York City solo exhibition, O’Brien O’Connell takes an encounter with the iconic work of industrial designer and illustrator John Vassos as a starting point. Desks, cameras, microphones and other materials for constructing and retaining take on roles as mnemonic and perceptual devices in various states of assembly and exposure. In a multi-channel video entitled Every movement does have a background, but every background is potentially useless, O’Brien O’Connell uses set and camera to mirror tropes such as the filmic wipe to conflate the subject and medium into a vertiginous space of heightened creative emblems. Within the video, an animation extracts characters from Vassos's 1931 book Phobia, an illustrated interpretation of myriad phobias related to urban life. The accompanying descriptions were florid, yet revealing in their inter-war fixations on psychoanalytical allegory.
The graphic simplicity of O’Brien O’Connell’s video is complicated by non-diegetic sound and voice-overs from multiple performers. This audio conveys the artist’s continued investigation of assumed narrative trust and authority within the monologue format; authorship and articulation are punctuated by irreverent confusion and translation. Alongside the video, sculptures and photographs extend the examination of sublimated fear by way of design and objects, while the initial legibility of these familiar forms and mediums is impeded by O’Brien O’Connell’s representation and installation. A series of black and white photographs depict images of objects taken from a book published in 1979. These objects act as placeholders, shifting the symbolic importance of various motifs in the elementary construction of knowledge that appear throughout the exhibition.
Curated by Lumi Tan.
Boru O’Brien O’Connell’s Draft, Capture, — is made possible with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jerome Foundation, Dedalus Foundation, Inc., Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and with public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional production support and residency provided by EMPAC/Experimental Media and Performing Artist Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Jan 24 2018
Historically speaking, the cultural importance of The Kitchen has revolved at least in part around its very obscurity. In other words, the platform exists precisely to propel work that resists easy definition, and the artists working here—throughout the organization’s nearly five-decade existence...Read On
Jan 03 2018
Every year, The Kitchen presents artists whose works are uniquely, often provocatively resonant within contemporary culture – challenging our understanding of art and, as important, of social convention. In fact, they continually change our sense of both, creating the possibility for a new relati...Read On
Dec 15 2017
At the end of each year, it's humbling to step back and recognize what amazing works artists have created at The Kitchen. In our gallery, think of a generation-defining video installation by Meriem Bennani or all-night loft party by Martin Beck; radical new choreography and staging by Jen Rose...Read On