O'Malley's Head #2

2007 | 00:05:33 | United States | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | DV video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Artist Spaces, Chicago Art, City, Death and Dying

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In 1998 I made a sculpture of a decapitated head. I featured it in a photo and video. I thought of the head as a character whose adventures would be documented. The name O’Malley was inspired by Chicago’s Irish heritage (I was living in Chicago then). O’Malley’s Head Part 1 was a photo of the head placed on top of the garbage cans in the alley behind my apartment building. I lived right by an exit ramp from the Kennedy Expressway, one of the last before you reached downtown from O’Hare Airport. Sometimes people would exit there and dump things. I pretended the head was one of those things.  Part 2 was more complex. The video contrasts something young and cute with something old and gruesome. In the video they exist together in harmony. My point was that duality exists in the mind of the observer. The child does not know what is considered good or bad by our society.  Life and death play together in a state of mystical union.  O’Malley’s Head #2 was originally edited at the Chicago Access Network when I worked there. In 2007, after being in LA for a bit, I re-edited the footage with final cut pro and jazzed it up.

-- Charles Irvin

This title is only available on Suitable Video, Volume 1.