Lauren O'Neal  

Lauren O'Neal creates eerie site-specific pieces by projecting the blurred bodies from childhood photographs onto various household objects, such as chairs, walls, and doors. O'Neal's method and the subject recall some of the earliest forms of "ghost entertainment" — phantasmagoria theater and the magic lantern show (the pre-cursor to the modern, and soon to be defunct, slide projector). In addition to the work aptly projected onto a portal, O'Neal also created a site-specific installation in the PRC library. Printed on velum, groupings of her homunculi and other borrowed imagery are inserted into over 50 books, relating to a specific image or page, to be discovered by chance much like an old keepsake tucked into a tome. O'Neal is active in the local art and non-profit scene. Former Director of the Arlington Center of the Arts and Associate Director of the Boston Photo Collaborative, she has shown at the Copley Society of Art and Somerville's Windows Art Project.

Lauren O'Neal, Common Visions, Saint on Door, 2002, projection from slide, Courtesy of the artist

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Artist Statement

My work investigates the construction of meaning and its impact on social and psychological states. Much of the source material for my photographic projects utilizes photos I took in first grade. Re-appropriating images from my past allows me to be in conversation with an earlier, imagined self, and to explore the in-between quality of memory and longing.

"Common Visions, Saint on Door" is a piece from a larger body of still projections. Projection, in its many senses, from the technological to the social and metaphysical, addresses my contradictory feelings of unease and lightness toward the idea of a shifting subjectivity. Questions about who we are when we are not materially "there"—what constitutes being and spirit—have occupied me throughout my work.

"Correspondences" is a site-specific work for the Photographic Resource Center Library. This project celebrates the act of browsing in the creation of identity and the construction of knowledge. Finding other people's notes, scribbles, bookmarks and other artifacts of browsing allows me to discover the unknown, the familiar, the re-interpreted, and the yet-to-be, all within one frame.

Copyright © 2002, Photographic Resource Center, Inc.