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Soma Garner
Exhibition & Residency:
September 1 – September 30, 2010

The proposal for (Soma Garner’s) residency at the 18th Street Art Center is to produce a series of paintings and mixed media referencing Edward Ruscha’s photo series Every building on Sunset Strip (1965), where he documented the buildings on the left and right side of Sunset Boulevard.

I propose to stage ‘Every Inhabitant of 18th Street’ at the given time of my residency. I would like to research the cultural diversity of the communities of both international and local residents by researching the cultural differences of the performative nature of self-representation. This will be contextualised through research of Hollywood film characters, superheroes and performers.

The resulting work being a series of small scale paintings, photographs and videos exhibited on at least two walls of a gallery where the location of the work corresponds to the dwelling of its subject. The wall in this instance becomes a proscenium arch for the ‘staging’ of life on 18th street in the immediate present.

I am interested within this project taking further my previous work concerning masks, facades where the subjects became ways of psychologically investigating notions of authenticity and personas such as the death mask of Marilyn Monroe. My previous work explored Hollywood nostalgia and B-grade cult horror cinema in relation to a fictional diary ‘Saga Moor’ which was a performative self-portrait where the characters eventual demise as the 50 Foot Woman showed the fallibility of fiction and the frailty of the flesh, imagined or real.

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