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What it takes to survive a crisis or the imaginary Richter scale of rage

Eileen Cowin

Eileen Cowin uses video, photography and multimedia installations to explore the blurred lines between narrative, storytelling, memory, the unconscious, fiction and truth. Her carefully fabricated compositions combine objects with intimate human gestures in a way that heightens the emotional experience and yet is open for interpretation, allowing the viewer to complete the artwork. Cowin's early work is often associated with the Los Angeles experimental photography scene of the 1970s and the East Coast Pictures Generation. During the 80s and 90s Cowin's work evolved to include the fully-constructed cinematic installations and videos that she is known for today.

In her series What it takes to survive a crisis or the imaginary Richter scale of rage, Cowin expands on her themes of anxiety and rage through her various images and video installations. In the age of unprecedented mass upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cowin explores the constant state of crisis America has dealt with, starting with the 2016 presidential election to the present time. Her visual narratives are symbolic in nature, perfectly encapsulating the constant fear, turmoil and global uncertainty the pandemic has released.

Eileen Cowin is a Los Angeles based artist known for work in photography, video and mixed-media installations. Her work has been featured in over 30 solo exhibitions and in more than 180 group exhibitions. Cowin’s works have also been featured in private and public collections including: the Brooklyn Museum, NY; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Los Angeles, CA; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; the National Museum of American Art; and MOCA, Los Angeles. She has received numerous recognitions and awards including three individual fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a commission from the Public Art Fund in New York, a City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowship in New Genres from the California Arts Council, California Community Foundation’s Fellowship for Visual Artists, City of Santa Monica Artist’s Fellowship, Best Experimental Film USA Film Festival, and three commissions from Los Angeles World Airports. Cowin is currently working on a commission for the Martin Luther King Jr. Metro Station in Los Angeles.

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