July 7 - August 31

Andrew O'Brien

Curtain Wall

My work examines the ways in which humans define physical space while also investigating the material qualities of the image itself, and its role in shaping perception of the world around us. The feedback loop between imagery and our surroundings creates environments that are both intuitive and strange. It is that oscillation between the familiar and the unexpected that is productive for me, and it is the means by which I seek a new understanding of the world.

Curtain Wall uses the eponymous gold-mirrored glass surface of a building as both a literal and symbolic axis around which the interaction between corporate architecture and landscape are explored. Both inside and out, the myriad glass surfaces of this currently unoccupied building create a spectacle of virtual images and reflections that fragment, multiply and color-shift the surrounding landscape. Absent its daily use as a center of human activity – yet showing little signs of abandonment or disrepair – the structure’s presence is uncertain and vaguely threatening. The skin of the building functions as both window and screen – displaying floating virtual images of the interior and exterior while projecting itself far beyond the building site, coating everything in a surreal golden light. It has become less of a building and more like a form of sculpture; a light-space modulator that reveals both the seductive and alienating qualities of modernist architecture in our everyday lives. -Andrew O'Brien

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Andrew O’Brien was born and raised in Southern Maryland. Currently he is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he is Assistant Professor of Photography and Media Art at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His artistic practice is shaped by an early interest in science and the natural world, which led to an internship for NASA and Astronomy studies at the University of Arizona before he turned to fine art exclusively. Other vital experiences include conservation work with the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona and volunteer work with non‐profit NGO’s in the Southwest region, where he was exposed to the complex political and geographic environment of the US‐Mexico border. His current work examines the material artifacts of human intervention into the physical world, as well as the history and perception of the landscape. He has exhibited at Seed Space, Nashville TN, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, Clark College, Vancouver WA, Greenleaf Gallery at Whittier College, Whittier, CA, and The Curb Center at Vanderbilt University among others.