OREEN COHEN

www.oreencohen.com

Texture, movement, material, and process are key elements of my artwork. I attempt to bring viewers closer to the visceral or essential qualities of material and sites. I extend myself in the mediums of large-scale sculpture, painting, drawing, site-specific installation, public art, intervention, video, and performance. 


I labor using my body in sometimes physically demanding processes and performative actions to unlock sensitivities in each new site location. With gumption, I scour resources in dumpsters, city streets, interview residents or stalk historic locations to find fodder for new works. I invest my efforts in a pursuit of deeper engagement with found material. These movements lead me to design possibilities that untangle or combine stories of people and place. 


Often I work with the public or in collaborations with artists, makers and musicians in other disciplines to join in the process of magnifying the theatres of action, to engross participants in a spectacle of improvised action building up mythic, often post-industrial narratives.

For me, the process of making is more important than the final object. My approach thrives on resourcefulness and the discovery of intention while building that initiates the creative exchange between myself and the context. In the studio, classroom, or with communities I advocate that there are no mistakes in art, only opportunity in the moment


Examples of projects include: baking 5,000 bread bricks to reconstructing buildings on the to be demolished list, directing parades with golden caskets filled with 200 lbs. of sunflower seeds in the middle of winter, and creating a quilt of aluminum rubbings taken from 400 buildings around Pittsburgh only to be destroyed in a one night dance performance.  For me, the process of making is more important than final object. My approach thrives on resourcefulness and the discovery of intention while building that initiates the creative exchange between myself and the context. In the studio, classroom or with communities I advocate there are no mistakes in art, only opportunity in the moment.

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Statement

Belly of the Muscle
used candles collected from local churches, individuals and Pittsburgh Center for Creative reuse, salvaged and welded rebar
Various dimensions
2020

Dalah

Left searing
Right crossed
Cracked forward flayed Veinious boiling
It wells, UP
Drawn
Cup
Dowse
Repeat
and Soak
Swallowed Swell
And stressed
Tapered wax wicks
Braided and bound
To bend and sway
Drawn separate yet Seemingly tethered Writhing togetherness Mending space between
A forced crux of capabilities Lay truth and rot
Held cupped
Inflamed
Deep
Belly of the muscle.