PROJECTS 2005: Marisa Olson


10 Year Itch

Overture: an exhibition full of humor, fantasy, and the work of one frustrated musician

February 16, 2005 7:00-9:30
February 16 - March 14

Marisa S. Olson always knew she’d be a star some day. Growing up in Germany, she lived for the Top 40 countdowns of American music, every weekend. She’s always been a singer and she’s pretty sure that she wrote “Eternal Flame” before the Bangles made it theirs. This Fall, Olson gained worldwide attention while training to audition for American Idol—all of which is documented at Despite the fact that her audition never aired, Olson’s still reveling in her own Idolatry.

tits blue
With “Overture,” the artist invites you to come journey above the clouds where a star resides. Read the diary of her training, see her sculptural comparison of rock concerts and solo shows, let her serenade you in the site-specific audio installation, “It’s All About You,” or peep in on her wet and wild restaging of one of Hollywood’s last big musicals, and—of course—watch the impressive footage from her sadly unaired audition..

This new work is an extension of Olson’s ongoing interest in the cultural history of recording technology, including questions of authorship, storytelling formats, the rhetoric of the image, media specificity, and the impacts of technologies upon social relationships. These interests are specifically located within an investigation of the nature of the contemporary art world and the “voice of the artist,” within it.




bronze Projections

Borrowing from the lexicon of the music world, Olson’s work asks ironic questions about the relationship between being a pop star and being an art star. While they may exist as larger interrogations of the nature of two commercial systems, they are also very personal reflections of her own identity.






Easy Listening Disco Room Video 1

Easy Listening Disco Room Video 2

The One That Got Away

Marisa S. Olson has most recently performed or exhibited at the Berkeley Art Museum, New Langton Arts, Southern Exposure, Pond Gallery, Lucky Tackle, and Rx Gallery, in the Bay Area; Debs & Co., Foxy Productions, and Flux Factory, in New York; and the Access Center (Vancouver), STUK/Zed Cinema (Leuven-Belgium), the Futuresonic04 Festival, (Manchester), the Electrofringe Festival, RocketArt Gallery (Newcastle, Australia), the Machinista Festival (Glasgow), and VIPER (Basel), internationally. She recently participated in an exhibition which Artforum highlighted among their “Best of 2004” and while Wired has called her funny and humorous, the New York Times has called her work "anything but stupid.
See Marisa's Idol Blog here: