Made In L.A. is coming to the Hammer, Barnsdall Park, LAXART, and billboards around town on June 2 and will showcase sixty emerging, under-recognized Los Angeles artists–one of which will be voted to win a $100,000 prize. In order to help you make an educated vote this summer, we’re counting down to Made In L.A. by showcasing each artist participating in the biennial.
Fiona Connor is an artist whose work is about imitating experience in a way that sometimes makes it so you cannot experience something. She very often lands in the world of sculpture and installation as she is obsessed with replicating a feeling or environment or item in order to call attention to what the item really is.
Connor is a New Zealander who is currently based in Los Angeles after finishing up her MFA at CalArts. She is most known for her piece Something Transparent (please go round the back) at Michael Lett in Auckland, which you can see above. In the piece, Connor reproduced the entrance to the gallery multiple times, making it so you couldn’t even enter the gallery because it was full of fifteen representations of the entrance. Thus, you viewed it from the outside of the space and had to enter the gallery from “round the back.” It’s a clever little piece that shows her wit and ability to create, each representation crafted as close as possible to the real façade but, of course, each with their own quirks.
Her work also sees representation being toyed with through seating and tools used to display information, like newspaper stands and newspapers themselves. Her shows very often are a combination of both borrowed and recreated work of what she hoped to share, to call attention to how we see them. In a show like Auspicious buildings for believers, she shared replicas of seating the city of Los Angeles gives its city, displaying the differences from neighborhood to neighborhood. In Reading the map while driving, she did something similar but borrowed and recreated seating from various art galleries in Los Angeles and New Zealand, calling attention to these objects of art and design that we use to view art and design.
We’re really excited by Conor’s work because it’s so detailed and patient and observant, really reminding us of Kim Rugg. Hearing Conor speak about her work and process, everything she does becomes even more complex and personalized. She is an artist that we fear people may just go, “Oh, that’s a newspaper holder.” or “That’s a chair.” and walk away but we hope they will see it for what it is: these complex, story driven pieces that are actually really exciting even though they can be misconstrued as mundane and “too normal.”