Liam O’Brien’s practice explores the ambiguity of freedom and construction of individuality under late capitalism. Using personal experience, theoretical texts, and intuition, O’Brien interrogates the influence of social, political, and religious ideologies in shaping individual hierarchies of value. Usually presented as single-channel videos, O’Brien’s work oscillates between performance documentation and more elaborate, pseudo cinematic constructions. Themes of futility and absurdity are recurrent in his works, which contemplate a broad range of subjects including employment, drug use, mortality, technology, and intimacy.
Liam O’Brien (born 1987, Australia) lives and works in Melbourne. O’Brien graduated from the Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Photography and First Class Honors in 2010. In 2013, O’Brien undertook a residency at 501 Artspace, Chongqing, China, completed a commission for Artbank’s Performutations video series, and was named the recipient of the Art & Australia/Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Cold Comforts, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney, and Selected Works, Canberra Contemporary Art Space. Group exhibitions include NEW16, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Video Contemporary, Sydney Contemporary; and GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art, Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. O’Brien is represented by Sullivan+Strumpf in Sydney.