Before their assassination, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Romanov led stilted lives. Existing within a family patriarchy and with the threat of a violent revolution, they had little control. Through the artifacts they left behind, a myth was built about their reliance upon each other. Their friendships are named after their self-given acronym, OTMA. The legend of the Grand Duchesses inspired Women’s History Museum, the moniker of Amanda McGowan and Mattie Rivkah Barringer, to create OTMA’s Body,
Living between the spaces of art and fashion, the show functions as a boutique. It contains all the aspects of a clothing store, from the clothing racks to the mannequins to the self-referential decor. With their collage aesthetic, Women’s History Museum augments those elements. Using methods similar to Lou Dallas and Ser Serpas, all of the objects are made from recycled materials found during McGowan and Barringer’s travels. With those found supplies McGowan created her pieces, and Barringer created hers. They collected their finished work and produced a cohesive product. Priced like designer department stores, the objects in the exhibition can be bought and then removed by the buyer. The purchase of the products from McGowan and Barringer’s collaborative process embodies the idea of OTMA. The designers end up working like the four sisters, each has a distinct personality but when brought together they become one body. A body taken apart by the public.
Open now until September 16, “Prick up your Ears” is a multi-media enterprise exploring the “ontology of fake” through self-examination of the artists’ own role in the culture industry. Curated by Taylor Trabulus, the exhibition is not so much an inter-communicative presentation of artists working in different mediums as much as it is a pronouncement of their individualities, pasted over the art world’s marriage to the economy and identity. As a deliberate act of incohesion, “Prick up your Ears” appropriately introduces LA to many New York-based artists, and establishes their works as unique in relation to one another, but sharing in the common understanding of the culture-capital pipeline.
“Prick Up Your Ears”
Curated by Taylor Trabulus
4619 W Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016