01 Mar

Conflict of Interest Q+A

Full Interview here.
RM: With the recent political upheaval, there is obviously a great deal of concern for those already facing societal disregard (people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, etc.). This seems incredibly relevant to your practice and falls under what you’ve referred to as real American horror. How do these more current and experiential events affect how you approach the topics in your work?

MM: To be honest, this current shit show has me reeling. I’m seeing all of my past research now as a present reality and a threat. You approached me right around the election, and since then I’ve been trying to answer your questions at the same time as I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this new reality as a human being, a teacher, and an artist. What I’ve come to is that I need to keep active and proactive. I cannot look to the future without remembering the hope of the past. To many, my work seems dark, but the truth is it has always been about hope and perseverance. Knowing that we have been fighting these fights for generations and now seeing people out protesting en masse is just one sign of our progress as a country despite the continued abuse of power and the resurgence of overt patriarchy.

My current studio research involves thinking about horror films and focusing on films of my childhood with othered protagonists, like Carrie (1976) and Firestarter (1984), and I’m also thinking about the relationship of comedy to tragedy.

14 May

Bye Bye Blue opens June 4th at the Old Jail Art Center

Bye Bye Blue
tells multiple versions of an erased and reinvented past. Using the legend of Olive Oatman, a young girl whose family was massacred in 1851 as a starting point. Meehan’s translation focuses on Oatman’s infamous blue tattoo as a pattern reflecting ever-changing morals and cultural taboos on a scarred American landscape. Was she a captive slave of the Mojave tribe or a cherished member of her Native American community? Oatman’s past is unknown and malleable before her return to White society where becoming an instant celebrity she shared her story on the lecture circuit. As an adult she started over yet again marrying a wealthy banker, adopting a daughter and living in Sherman, Texas until her death in 1903. With sound, collage and sculpture Meehan examines the porous borderland between civilization and savagery where loss and longing intertwine.