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The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery was pleased to present the first institutional solo exhibition in Los Angeles by artist Mariah Garnett. Surveying Garnett’s work to date, the exhibition included a selection of her films and installations from 2010 to the present day, alongside related prints.
At the heart of the exhibition was an installation of her new film Trouble, a feature-length experimental documentary about the artist’s burgeoning relationship with her Northern Irish father, whom she only met in adulthood. The film travels to his native Belfast, in Northern Ireland, where Garnett immersed herself in past and present political struggles, collapsing the city’s legacy of sectarian violence and her father’s Civil Rights activism with the landscape of the present day. The film highlighted the ways in which people, as much as places, can carry traces of past histories. A deeply personal investigation, Trouble was in the making for over four years and represented the culmination of all of the works in the exhibition.
Garnett’s earlier work ranges around seemingly disparate subject matter, from war veterans turned Hollywood stuntmen in Full Burn (2014) to a friendship with a gender ambivalent ten year old in Picaresques (2011). What unites the films, however, is a conscious dismantling of the power structures surrounding representation in mainstream cinema. To do this, she incorporated the process of making the film into the film itself, often appearing on screen as both herself and impersonating her subjects. The works ultimately became portraits of relationships between unlikely companions mediated by the camera and the power dynamics involved in that exchange.
Garnett’s works deconstructed the conventional hierarchy between filmmaker and subject, a mode that has historically been the purview of directors who are economically, racially and gender privileged. By including her own image, Garnett positioned queerness in relationship to subject matter that on the surface may seem disconnected from LGBT identity. The films simultaneously acknowledged a natural human desire for contact with ‘the other’ and the legacies of abuse that have surrounded the mediation of that desire through history. In this way, Garnett created a space in her films where more than one thing can be true.
Mariah Garnett holds an MFA from Calarts in Film/Video and a BA from Brown University in American Civilization. Her work has been screened and exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the following venues: The Hammer Museum\’s 2014 Made In LA, The New Museum, Goldsmiths College, Chisenhale Gallery, among others. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
Matt Stromberg, \”10 Must-See LA Exhibitions in 2019: From Julie Mehretu, Nayland Blake, Beatriz Cortez, and More,\” Hyperallergic, January 3, 2019[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][vc_column width=\”1/6\”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=\”row\” use_row_as_full_screen_section=\”no\” type=\”full_width\” text_align=\”left\” background_animation=\”none\” css_animation=\”\”][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=\”row\” use_row_as_full_screen_section=\”no\” type=\”full_width\” text_align=\”left\” background_animation=\”none\” css_animation=\”\”][vc_column][svc_post_layout skin_type=\”s8\” grid_columns_count_for_desktop=\”svc-col-md-6\” dexcerpt=\”yes\” dcategory=\”yes\” dmeta_data=\”yes\” dsocial=\”yes\” dpost_popup=\”yes\” dimg_popup=\”yes\” query_loop=\”size:10|order_by:date|order:DESC|post_type:,post|categories:32\” tcolor=\”#ffffff\”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
September 17, 2018