Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us
Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill
A two-person exhibition of recent large-scale video installations from Los Angeles-based artists Jesse Fleming and Pat O’Neill. Each artist raises questions in his work about the self in relation to others, collective norms, and the built environment. They direct us to see the links and fissures in our lives and the larger systems that we attempt to grapple with—from science to spirituality, and the spaces they straddle.
In a Los Angeles Times review of Pat O’Neill’s solo exhibition at Cherry and Martin, art critic David Pagel compellingly described the open-ended nature of the artist’s work, stating that it is, “…all about loose ends, rough edges and patterns bigger than any of us.” (Pagel, 2015). O’Neill’s two-channel projection environment, No Wonder - Two Skins (2013) fills the front half of the Ben Maltz Gallery, and Fleming’s multichannel video installation, A Theory of Everything (2015) occupies the back. This presentation creates a chronological bridge between the works, suggesting a comparison of American society of the past and present. Both artists mine and collage found and original footage to create a new story, void of straight narrative and cinematic convention. O’Neill draws from the ephemeral films in the Prelinger Archives, which include thousands of titles produced by and for corporations, interest groups, and institutions that are now in the public domain. No Wonder - Two Skins combines various clips from the 1940s/50s that include educational tutorials about health, relationships, and science, as well as landscape and industrial scenes. Fleming sources videos from YouTube that depict more recent events such as TED Talks, dance raves, and drumline performances. Through acts of recontextualization, Fleming and O’Neill offer critical perspectives to consider these forms of mass gathering, promotion, and propaganda.
Read more about the exhibition http://www.otis.edu/ben-maltz-gallery
August 12, 2017