Directed by Eoghan Kidney
Based on Artwork by Robyn O’Neil
Written by Eoghan Kidney & Robyn O’Neil
Produced by Nicola Gogan @ Still Films
Animated by Eoghan Kidney, Ciaran Crowley and Mark Flood
“We, The Masses” is an award-winning, animated short film based on the artwork of the Nebraska-born O’Neil, who calls herself a “maker of worlds.” Her wry, sincere humor infuses her well-known apocalyptic and anxiety-ridden drawings―10 years of which forms the basis of the film. After attending Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School where she met Irish director Eoghan Kidney, the two teamed up to bring O’Neil’s drawings to life in this 13-minute, stop motion animation. Supported by a grant from the Irish Film Board, “We, The Masses” is presented at the CWAM courtesy of the artist and the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York City.
Using her familiar archetype for humanity―sweatsuit-wearing men encountering opposition in nature or self-destructing in Bosch-like tableaus―”We, The Masses” explores futility, hope, and self-inflicted wounds as it swings from the foibles of humanity to the epic effects of weather and the natural world. Prescient yet eerily relevant, it tackles both public alienation and the unconscious anxiety of our social and political era.
O’Neil studied British art and architecture at Kings College, received a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and did her graduate work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Major solo exhibitions include those at the Des Moines Art Center and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Hunting Prize and a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, and her recently published book, “Robyn O’Neil: 20 Years of Drawing,” is available through Archon Projects.
1955 Shure microphone, light, electronic components
Edition of 2
As a cultural icon, the 1955 Shure Microphone can be said to symbolize ‘the golden years’. In this work, the microphone housing contains a bright piercing light that casts a large shadow reminiscent of a metal mask or ribcage onto the wall. Periodically at random intervals, the light flickers like a bulb casting its last rays of light; it is the silent noise of social realities and the suppressed voice.
The glowing light and skeletal shadow cast by Triplight tell parallel stories of its time and mirror our own, beautifully revealing contradictions in the silent stutter of its unstable light.
The word ‘triplight’ refers to a trigger that sets off a state of alarm. It also refers to “trip the light fantastic”, a historical reference to a type of dance, and more recently a state of hallucination.