SCULPTURE AND INSTALLATION

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Seed Mother
Right now in Australia they are attempting to bring the Tasmanian Tiger back from extinction. A creature that was at one point in time the largest carnivorous marsupial, died in captivity in Hobart Zoo in 1936.  This creature was hunted into extinction when a bounty was created for its hide and paralleled the colonization of Australia and pushing out of Aboriginal communities. The only reason these scientist were are able to map the genome of the Tasmanian Tiger is when the Thylacines were slaughtered, many of the pups were still in their dead mother’s pouch. These puppies were then put in formaldehyde and sat in museums until Dr.  Andrew Pask and his team took them out in order to digitally scan, map the genome of the creature and try to understand how this marsupial developed so similarly to a dog despite not being a placental mammal. 


When they are not working on genetic engineering to battle pesticide-inflicted genital mutations; Pask and his team are working on using marsupial rats to become the potential mother of the Tasmanian Tiger. The next carnivorous marsupial that will be lost is the Tasmanian Devil. This marsupial dying because of a transferable cancer that is contracted because the Devils are so genetically similar. The animal whose nature is to fight and scratch in the throes of love-making are perpetuating their own demise doing what they love to do. The only way they might be saved is quarantine, breeding projects and potentially, genetic engineering diversity into that genome. 


Meanwhile, the native plants in Tasmania and Australia are becoming extinct at rapid rates and there are currently 3 seed safes seeking to preserve these plants with a potential that is incredibly unknown. Using cryogenic freezing, tissue cultures, and cloning, these scientists have a Sisyphean job ahead of them as they collect seeds at a rate slower than the extinction of native Austrian plants. Some of these the institutions are Sci-Fi monoliths of power and support while other are broken dystopian laboratories with non-functioning freezers in the basement; but both are met with challenges that no amount of money can solve. 

Taking into consideration Donna Haraway’s term of the Chtulescene from in which our biologies are inexorably linked, Seed Mother is an attempt to create entanglements of meaning and process. Not coming from a scientific background, these horror-narratives of DNA’s bending and folding in a post-CRISPR-baby world are reminiscent of Chernobyl-inspired bio-horror of the 1980s. It is hard to figure out how our era will be remembered with how our archives will continue. While our forms of technology change from stone, to paper, to plastic, to cloud, we are discovering not even our DNA will be a stable form of documentation. 


With the performance of the Tasmanian-Devil hybrid, I am existing in a world where hybridized combination is a lonely frontier, but a necessary step for creating empathy and care. These plants are grown from clay that I formed with my hands and out of the bath water I stewed in. This paper that contains the paper waste of CalArts is also made from this bathwater and has the histories of these scientists projected on it with future technologies. The pouch is a zone where the DNA code of the Tasmanian Tiger is being played with different pitches of the didgeridoo and the song being sung is human dna found on a public databank sung by my mother. The trumpet acting as the song  the doomed Tasmanian Devil and CRISPR weaving in and out of these DNA histories. People are invited into the entanglement by being allowed to put their bodies in the pouch and feel the co-opted virus technique as noise.  All of these gestures are my feeble attempts to create forms of undead archives and to genetically engineer art objects. 
How are we as humans, and maybe ever more importantly, as artists, supposed to approach the issues of the undead as an archive. With our work being an impression of the culture, ideas and forms of the world we live in how can we maintain the lessons from the corpses of today simultaneously with the having a future to be able to learn these lesson? What does responsibility look like for artists? What does responsibility look like for scientists?


 

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Veritas by Vanitas
Perseus is a Dick
Perseus is a Dick

Photo cred: Daniel Bowman.

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Perseus is a dick
Perseus is a dick

Photo cred: Daniel Bowman.

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Hair today, Gorgon tomorrow
Hair today, Gorgon tomorrow

Photo cred: Daniel Bowman.

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Perseus is a Dick
Perseus is a Dick

Photo cred: Daniel Bowman.

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These were some sculptural explorations on the myth of Medusa. One is called "Perseus is a Dick" and the other is called, "Gorgon Today, Hair Tomorrow". The hand hold a phone which plays the medusa animation. 
 

I'll Stop The World and Melt With You

When I was in third grade my class did a sort of living wax museum. The idea was we would dress up like an important person from history and remain frozen until someone came up and stood on a little green button in front of us. I chose to do my report on Walt Disney. Standing there with an eyebrow pencil mustache, I performed Walt Disney’s life on a loop for onlookers only to return to my frozen state with their departure.

 

Coming to CalArts, while my classes and education has very little to do with animation or Disney, I’ve felt the looming shadow of Walt’s legacy on campus. With rumors of him being cryogenically frozen at CalArts I began to wonder- well, what if it is true. So I started to poke my head around the campus and see what I could find out about cryonics and was stunned to discover how many of the original cryonics texts were readily available.

 

I just continued down the rabbit hole of research, reading about its gruesome origins and fanatical cult-like offshoots. I’ve spent the last 4 months delving into this process, creating work to try to wrap my head around the disappointment of it being a ruse and the horror of it, if it actually did work. What is the reality of cryonics and what does it mean for people to put their faith in a future technology and a future people that is so unknown. What conditions of someone’s current life would drive people to this sci-fi future and what stresses could potentially get me there as well.

 

Beyond Walt, I started to think about what legacies meant and what it could mean for me to try to simultaneously stop time and be placed out of the context of time. What it could meant to have creative control of my death and future life. I also thought about this within the creative process in terms of what I am seeking to preserve and wondering if it is it all just a delay of the inevitable.

 

My show is a start to understanding this phenomenon and what urges people to consider death as a way of time travel. Placing myself inside of this speculative fiction I am attempting to use sculpture, performance and a type of carney showmanship as a way of understanding this terrain not just from a sci-fi perspective, but emotionally and socially.

Gallery View
Gallery View 2
Three brains
Three Brains
Three Brains close up
Three Brains Close Up
Conversation With My Future Self
Detail Shot
Detail Shot
Another view
Detail Shot
CryoCats: Can You Freeze a Me
Detail of CryoCats
Detail of CryoCats
Detail of CryoCats
Detail of CryoCats
Dewar Karaoke
Dewar Karaoke
Dewar Karaoke
Dewar Karaoke
Deward karaoke
Dewar Karaoke
Gift Shop
Detail of Alcor Materials
Detail of Alcor Materials
Ceramic Sculptures from Gift Shop
Detail of Gift Shop
Detail

Video from Installation 

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Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget

Thinking about the end of the world is always a paranoid and fruitless endeavor for me. In true dire situations I can only begin to understand what that would mean for me. I'm fairly certain despite my outgoing attitude, I would be the first to panic. In celebration of this fault, I created a fountain from some pants of my own that peed itself and operated almost like a window display. Honoring those who are terrified and those who would drink their own pee in survivalist situations, I additionally created a line of gilded ceramic champagne flutes that were made from molds of feminine pee funnels. This paired with a video of me peeing into a tower of champagne glasses. Voila! 

Self Reliance
Self Reliance

Photo by Josh Schaedel at Now Space LA

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Self Reliance
Self Reliance

Photo by Josh Schaedel at Now Space LA

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Self Reliance
Self Reliance

Photo by Josh Schaedel at Now Space LA

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Self Reliance
Self Reliance

Photo by Josh Schaedel at Now Space LA

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I Cant Even:
A Pet Peeve Funeral

I CAN’T EVEN: A Pet Peeve Funeral January 7th-31st As the year ends it seems like more and more frustrating things keep piling up. Major sources of discontent like political unrest, bad break-ups, death, and job loss are amplified by the more mundane frustration caused by returning gifts, sitting in traffic, and waiting for emails. Artists Steven Frost and Molly Jo Shea want to help guests of Santa Ana’s Basement Projects purge the pet peeves and anxieties of 2016 with their performance and immersive installation piece, I CAN’T EVEN. Guests of the exhibition are invited to bring their parking tickets, I voted stickers, white elephants, and emotional baggage to bury in a basement graveyard. The installation features a “Pet Peeve Cemetery” constructed of soft sculptures and found materials, video projections, an altar for grievances, and a lively funeral procession by Frost and Shea. I CAN’T EVEN runs January 7 through January 31 with an opening reception and performance on January 7th from 7 - 10 PM. The funeral procession begins at 9:15PM (black attire is not required but not discouraged ). A closing event will be held January 31. 

Gallery View
Gallery View

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Attendees adding peeves
Attendees adding peeves

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Fred playing music at opening
Fred playing music at opening

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Gallery View
Gallery View

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Hearst So Good
Installation view
Installation view

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Boobhole detail
Boobhole detail

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Meat Loaf Portraits
Meat Loaf Portraits

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Installation view
Installation view

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Curator, Katie Bode curated a collection of artists to do mini golf holes all around North East,  Los Angeles. I collaborated with Alice Lang to make a two- yard installation based off our time at Hearst Castle and the Madonna Inn. Here is documentation from my portion of the install.

Please Release Me 

Press Release:

"Weekend is happy to present, Please Release Me, a solo exhibition of works by Molly Jo Shea. For her first gallery show in Los Angeles, Shea's installation will feature sculpture, painting, video, and performance based on the art of trapping. Through her research of masculine endeavors such as Pick-Up Artist culture, hunting, weaponry, and animal trapping, Shea creates an environment that is one part hunting lodge and one part bachelor pad. Shea then inserts herself into these fight or flight scenarios via the presentation of field research, her own hide, and through the interaction with the traps themselves. The social aspects of trapping, who is hunter versus who is prey, and finding oneself in desperate situations without escape, are ideas darkly conveyed within the installation. Armed with deadpan humor, Shea manipulates viewers by allowing them to be both predator and prey."

Performance Backdrop
Aftermath close-up
Close-up of performance Display
Close-up of record
Trap Close-up
Show View from front window
View of the Back Wall
Anywhere. Everywhere. Nowhere.
 "Please Release Me"
Right Side Wall View
 "I Only Appear to be Thick-Skinned"
PUA Trap Series
PUA Trap Series
PUA Trap Series
 "Deer Trapped in Pool"
"Deer Trapped in Pool" Close Up
"Deer Trapped in Pool" Close Up
Corner of Exhibition
"Macho Machete"
"Cold Steel Installation"
Projection from "Cold Steel" sculptu
Installation at Opening
Exhibition Display
"Caught More than You Bargained For"

Video From "Deer Trapped in Pool" Installation

Video From "Cold Steel" Installation

​​This rug was created after the famous 1970′s Cosmo Magazine centerfold of Burt Reynolds. This venture was started in the fall of 2010 and has loomed over various, bed, sofas and smiled up from my floor as I painstakingly hooked every piece of yarn into the canvas grid. The idea for this rug sprang to my mind when learning of Freud’s concept of the uncanny being “an instance where something can be familiar, yet foreign at the same time, resulting in a feeling of it being uncomfortably strange or uncomfortably familiar”. Burt’s beefcake pose always put me in a position of discomfort and at the same time a weird sexual attraction.The materiality choice was a combination of 70′s shag carpet appeal, and Burt Reynold’s notoriety for wearing a toupee.

Meditations of Whoa

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​​After years figuring out ways of entering Keanu Reeves into serious school essays (ie Dudecartes, Bill and Ted’s Ontological Journey, and Nosferat2k:A New Media Monster Reenvisioned Through the Early Internet Aesthetics of Late 90s), I realized that Keanu, was what allowed me to keep my sense of humor through a series of drab philosophy assignments. However, I ended up drinking my own poison and realized that Keanu Reeves truly is the perfect post modern action hero and more importantly- he is my spirit animal. He is all genres and no genres, all emotions and no emotions, and he is both hollywood superstar and down to earth guy with real problems. Realizing what a perfect symbol of both yin and yang- I made a Zen garden dedicated to him, so that I could share this experience with everyone. On the rocks are famous Keanuisms from his movies and the audio is me doing an impression of Keanu and reciting real life Keanu Reeves quotes.

NO FAIR

For the Chicago’s Next Art Fair 2011, I was the only undergraduate students selected by Student Union Galleries to transform a booth-space into an interactive art installation. So I decided to turn my booth into a failed fair-combining my love of carnies and my horrible adventures at clown camp. Here is my write-up:

The “No Fair” is a celebration of failed fairs. By reinterpreting the art fair into the language of county fairs and transforming fair props into melancholy minimal art this fair exists within the high brow of conceptual art and the low brow of PTA meetings. Through out the day there will be a variety of games to play and performances to watch. Purchasing raffle tickets enables you to feel what it feels like to fail to communicate, fail to understand, fail to create and fail make an impression.

NO FAIR

For the Chicago’s Next Art Fair 2011, I was the only undergraduate students selected by Student Union Galleries to transform a booth-space into an interactive art installation. So I decided to turn my booth into a failed fair-combining my love of carnies and my horrible adventures at clown camp. Here is my write-up:

The “No Fair” is a celebration of failed fairs. By reinterpreting the art fair into the language of county fairs and transforming fair props into melancholy minimal art this fair exists within the high brow of conceptual art and the low brow of PTA meetings. Through out the day there will be a variety of games to play and performances to watch. Purchasing raffle tickets enables you to feel what it feels like to fail to communicate, fail to understand, fail to create and fail make an impression.

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Talent Show Video



Crystal Blog Table

The Crystal Blog Table is an interactive art object used to connect people to their past, present, and future as well as interact with spirits from beyond. The table was handmade, lathed legs and all to counteract the sterility of the technology involved as well as the interaction. People approach the table expecting their fortunes to be told and instead are given google results to fix their problems, free astrology readings from the internet or viral youtube clips. The message of the piece is quite ominous, stating even though we have the information of world at our fingertips we still will never avoid death.