NUNU Fine Art, Taipei
New York based artist Morgan O'Hara could be known as a time writer. Both "Live Transmission" and "Time Studies" series derive from the artist’s own exploration and attention toward the essence of lives, which develops to long-term projects that have been in progress for decades.
Working on it for more than thirty years, O’Hara’s "Live Transmission" series records the movement – the initial sign of lives – in a way other than texts, sound, images, or videos. All the light, the sound and the event are compressed onto paper, a two-dimensional surface, based on an axis of time and then grow into a four-dimensional space that continuously creates parties of experiences. O’Hara makes records of changing, and the sparse or tense lines become the existence of her interpretation. In fact, Time-based Art becomes one of the characteristics in her works created without consciousness. Everything happening in the one-way elapsing time is extremely important because they are irreversible and cannot be replicated. However, O’Hara narratives the movement on paper in a way that breaks restrictions, and expresses the time in an abstract tone.
When it comes to lives, “Time Studies” series should be the most initial question that O’Hara raises. The artist chooses the second-hand old newspaper as a base, and then paints or writes her use of time on it. The overlapping texts and symbols in different time and space form a dialogue that obliterates the order of time. The works in the exhibition are created in MacDowell Colony in 2009, recording 55 days (1,320 hours) of residency life of the artist herself on an accounting book of a tailor, dating back from 1792 to 1794. The walnut traces written by quill pens converses with the bright colored blocks of time arrangement, starting a conversation that is both continuous and fragmented.
It is her unique dedication to movement of lives that makes "daily life" become the core of O’Hara’s works. Vendors bustling in fish markets in Japan, nurses delivering babies in an Italian hospital, or her own use of time, all turn into the targets she wants to observe and record. This could be viewed as the artist's cultural inquiry after entering an exotic field, responding to her self-demands and the contemporary social issues by means of the reconsideration and the reinterpretation of daily elements.