The Supreme Spasm, Videostill, Five-channel video installation, Variable dimensions, 2015
Ann Oren’s films, videos and installations explore the performative quality of contemporary life by tracing its cultural and historical origins. As social media invites our fictitious personas to come forth, true intimacy increasingly gives way to a dynamic of performers and audiences. When everyone is both a viewer and a “star”, the line between exhibitionism, voyeurism and spectatorship evaporates. Similarly, the characters in Oren’s projects exist in the liminal space between performers and viewers. Oren works at the perplexing intersection of the narrative and the conceptual. Using narrative elements, she lures viewers into a space that plays with both critical thinking and emotion. Ordinary behaviours are exaggerated to highlight the theatricality of the everyday, while at the same time, the roots of our fantasies and desires are excavated from the history of literature, theatre, and cinema.