Around Town

New Reston Town Center art exhibit explores politics with deconstructed objects

The Baltimore-based artist will exhibit her work at the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art’s Signature gallery this week (via Danni O’Brien)

A new exhibit that strips the functionality of instructional diagrams or objects is coming this week to Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art‘s satellite gallery in Reston Town Center.

Baltimore-based artist Danni O’Brien will bring her work, “Cross Sections,” for display at the Signature Apartments at 11850 Freedom Drive from Thursday (July 14) through Oct. 11. An in-person reception and talk with the artist is set for Thursday, August 4 at 6 p.m. in the building’s courtyard.

Some of O’Brien’s work is inspired by recent political discourse, including the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.

“The tensions and contradictions that play out abstractly in these works become poignant in the context of our current political discourse,” Hannah Barco, curator of the exhibition, said. “For example, in O’Brien’s most recently completed work, Homemade Barriers, the diagram is sourced from the book ‘Contraception Naturally!’ where the embedded objects include silicone foods trays and a brush used for baby care.”

O’Brien’s work is rooted in play, queerness and irreverence. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with shows at the Arlington Arts Center, Hillyer Arts Space, Latela Curatorial, Current Space, Terrault, School 33 Art Center, and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

Here’s more from Tephra on the artistic elements of the exhibit:

In Cross Sections, interdisciplinary artist Danni O’Brien (she/they) has built each artwork around a lifted instructional diagram or a found object, carefully stripping away their original functions. O’Brien uses the act of decontextualization deliberately, creating wall hung constructions that become disconcertingly familiar, yet they resist recognition. Within the visceral surfaces and quasi-bodily forms, the compositional logic of systems and mechanisms prevail. And in each work lies the energy of an imminent break–something that is roiling but withheld, constrained but about to break through.

To RSVP for the artist talk, email rsvp@tephraica.org.