by Oreen Cohen
Over the Fall 2014, I walked the streets of Pittsburgh recording over 450 rubbings of architectural details and urban textures with thin aluminum sheets and wooden tools. Each location marked on the map is a place where I Nearly Captured vital cultural identifiers from our built environment (See Nearly Captured Rubbings Map: http://goo.gl/BlUYMm). Each silver aluminum tile is a fragment of a 40 ft x 25 ft metal curtain that will be presented as an installation and one night performance called Nearly Captured at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts opening February 13, 2015. My intimate relationship with the curvatures of our built environment will be translated by dancers, Anna Slowdanger Thompson, Taylor Slowdanger Knight, and Riva Strauss as they play a game of ‘Cat and Mouse’ on top of and underneath the curtain. The impact of their bodies will flatten out, pull, and stretch the malleable metal reliefs. This process will transform the once ample topographic landscape into a beaten blanket of metal, reflecting redevelopment efforts around the city that has led to a flattening out of the culturally vital characteristics of Pittsburgh.
Oreen Cohen's work explores the potentiality of self and space in sitespecific sculpture, public interventions and video performance. Cohen recently received a Masters in Fine Art from Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. She has participated in exhibitions and public works in abandoned or overlooked sights, such as FIGMENT Sculpture Project on Governors Island, NYC and the Chevy Commons, Flint Public Art Project (Flint, MI). Group exhibitions include, “Lossless” Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University (2014), “My Future Ex” University at Buffalo Gallery (2013). Solo exhibitions include Shibolet at Area 405, Baltimore, MD and Running Drill at Transformer Gallery, DC (2011). Cohen received a New York Foundation for the Arts Sculpture Fellowship (2011), Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council grant (2013, 2012). Oreen has also participated in residencies such as Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013), CerCca Casamarles in Catalonia, Spain (2012).