June 10 - July 22, 2012
Brennan & Griffin is excited to present Michele O'Marah: Videos 1997 - 2002 an exhibition of the artist's first three video pieces: For Those About To Rock (1997), White Diamonds/Agent Orange (2001), and Valley Girl (2002). This selection of works and selected hand-made props used in the videos will be displayed in the gallery and offer a survey of O'Marah's early development of examining culture through lo-fi deconstructions of the media.
For Those About To Rock, O'Marah's first mature work, is a collection of seven trailers for fictitious documentary films that detail the lurid stories of influential punk bands: The Velvet Underground, The Runaways, The Germs, Pussy Galore, Dinosaur Jr., Babes In Toyland, and Bikini Kill. Both an homage to and analysis of these underground "celebrities," O'Marah's trailers serve the dual purpose of celebrating and criticizing the mythologies surrounding them.
White Diamonds/Agent Orange is a two channel video: a re-enactment of an interview with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that aired on 60 Minutes in 1970 paired with an amalgamation of Vietnam War film tropes. The work examines the narcissism and unapologetic decadence of celebrity royalty of the period alongside estimations of representations of the era's most defining political issues as viewed through the Hollywood system. Exploring both the values of the era through an innocuous historical document and the media's tendency to distort and simplify our recent history, the piece presents a harsh examination of our culture's priorities and ability for honest reflection.
Valley Girl is a full-length re-make of Martha Coolidge's film from 1983. Taking three years to complete, this piece continues O'Marah's interest in deconstructing mass-media while dealing with the issues of producing a feature-length narrative Hollywood film on one's own. Choosing Valley Girl for nostalgic purposes and for its excessively familiar "love conquers all" plot line, O'Marah's piece is a study in the success and failure of attempting to create a film without the benefits of a budget, crew, or professional actors. Using a cast of friends and artists and hand-crafting the sets and props used in the production, O'Marah's film, like her two previous pieces, challenges systems of storytelling with earnest criticality.
A vitrine of sculptural props used in the production of these works will be displayed in the gallery alongside the video works. These home-spun constructions illustrate O'Marah's interest in synthesizing objects and set-pieces that utilize a bare bones esthetic with her interest in exposing the flimsiness of constructed narratives.
Michele O'Marah received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and currently resides in Los Angeles. This will be O'Marah's second Solo Exhibition with Brennan & Griffin. She has had Solo Exhibitions at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Cottage Home, Los Angeles, Sister, Los Angeles and Mary Goldman, Los Angeles as well as two person exhibitions at Rental, New York and Peres Projects, Berlin. Her most recent project Blow Me! is currently included in Made in LA organized by the Hammer Museum and LA><ART and her work has been featured in Group Exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Wien, CCAC Wattis Institute in San Francisco, White Columns, New York, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, the London Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Greater LA, New York, and The Station, Art Basel Miami Beach.