stuff i did on a spiritual journey (2015)
December 1, 2015 - January 15, 2016
The Greenleaf Gallery at Whittier College presents "stuff I did on a spiritual journey," a body of work by Los Angeles-based artist Jane O'Neill. Through a series of reversals, duplications and negations, systems of belief and the concepts of the real and artificial, the consumed and repurposed are presented in two installations, two wall-mounted reliefs and two large digital prints. The show responds to and relies on a filtering of the physical world through a digital lens.
The installation "the artist's studio", is a recreation of O'Neill's studio wall. Each object has been created or painted to appear as the color photo negative of the original elements and space. The effect is a decorative, hyper-artificial set design reminiscent of an Anthropologie catalog image. Through the use of a Negative Me app or the Invert command in Photoshop, O'Neill's consistent portal motif finds its digital counterpart. A viewer can photograph the installation and transform their capture to see the blue-painted wood in its original salvaged form, the sparse ink drawing of crystals from the LA County Museum of Natural History become a full color photographic image, the "signals and tones" collage return to its original desert palette; the painted clip light on the floor become illuminated.
The wall-mounted relief, "This Place is So Classy!!", resembles a Torii gate, a structure rooted in the Shinto religion often used to signify the passage from the physical to the spiritual world. By appropriating or mimicking this form through discarded materials, a longing for more and better is explored. "defeating the silver system of belief (Eclipse/Ariadne)" also attempts to transcend its humble materials and achieve status in league with ancient myths and the power of the moon.
The digital prints "pretty baby negative" and "that joke about the rug matching the drapes" are inverted photographs of physical sculptures. By turning the objects into image, they are transformed and released into an infinity of Instagrammable digital reproduction.
The final installation, "before you were a pattern of electrical signals", is an imagining of one's own consciousness and brain activity as it begins to develop in the womb. The feminine treatment of the space attempts to engage the history of the building the gallery is housed in: an old Elk Lodge restricted to male members only.
Jane O'Neill (b. 1976, Long Island, New York) holds a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University, a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Yale University and attended the Yale Summer School of Art & Music in Norfolk, CT. Her installations, sculptures, collages and prints have appeared in exhibitions at commercial galleries, nonprofit spaces and academic institutions in Brooklyn, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Her work has received mention in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, The Glendale News Press and on WNYC.org. She has taught at the School of Visual Arts and was the Assistant Chairperson of the Digital Arts programs at Pratt Institute for over six years. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2011, she has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions, curated a 25-artist site-specific exhibition and taught at Whittier College.