Artist: Connor O’Brien
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist:
Connor is a current student at CSULB. He is currently living in a city near Los Alamitos with his father the man on the video. As of now Connor is a senior seeking to obtain his BFA in Photography. Connor explains that as a child he was always interested in cameras. He said that he loved to capture nice moments and that there was better way to do it than having them on camera.
When I walked into the gallery I was amazed to just see one video playing. The video was about an older male waking from bed and being fed by his son. The lights in the gallery were dim, the video had no dialogue and there was a low instrumental sound. The sound of the video was of medium pitch only lasting an estimate of about 5 minutes.
The purpose of the video, Connor’s work Mentia was to bring awareness on the illness of dementia. In the video it demonstrates Connor taking care of his father who suffers from dementia. Connor bathes his father, feeds him, and helps him do other things. Connor states that his father was diagnosed with dementia about six years ago; however, he has shown symptoms of it for over fifteen years. As a result, he, his brother, and his mother alternate in taking care of his father.
Connor’s exhibition brought a lot of thoughts to my head. In the beginning I thought that the video had no connection with the artists; however, after listening to the artist speak I realized that it was his father. I liked the way that the artist decided to bring awareness of dementia. Seeing his father struggle through the day made me think about my parents and how they will be when they get older. Made me think about who will take care of my parents, who will be there for them the same way they were there for us. The video was very touching.