Wk 12 – Artist Conversation – Connor O’Brian

Exhibition Information

Artist: Connor O’Brian
Exhibition: Mentia
Media: Film
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr Maxine Merlino Gallery
Website: Miliapictures.com
Instagram: none

About the Artist

Connor O’Brian is in his last semester as a senior in CSULB. He is in the Photography BFA program and has picked up an interest in filming during the last few years. He hopes to continue working with filming or music when he leaves CSULB. His father is the main figure in his work that he has done in the past when using photography. His father was diagnosed with dementia roughly 6 years ago and the film he exhibited was within the last 2 years.

Formal Analysis

The artist was in the film as it was his brother who was filming, but he had organized the positioning beforehand. Most of the of the recording was done from a short distance from the artist and their father, which would be similar to the range of pictures. The film is the only exhibit and it is centered on the wall that is opposite of the entrance. The film resolution was very clear and captured all the details of what was going on.

Content Analysis

The footage was taken over time and documented the life of the author’s father who was diagnosed with dementia. The artist wanted to show the intimate depiction of the responsibilities in care giving due to the severities of dementia. He also wanted to show the film as a testament of enduring love that his father inspired to him and his family.

Synthesis / My Experience

The footage was saddening and heartwarming at the same time and made me want to cry. While talking to the artist I had to control my words to make sure I could properly talk to him. The film is a very personal scene in the artist’s life that he exhibited to show everyone that would gaze at the screen. In the film you could see the toll dementia had on his father and the tasks that have to be done in caring for him. In several scenes you can see his father smiling at what one can only imagine is due to being taken care of by someone he loves. The footage definitely made me think about my own parents and the hope that I could be there to care for them if they ever needed me.

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