Maura Brewer

Maura BrewerArtist’s Statement

Feminism, identity, and representation in media are motivating concerns in my practice. My work in video, performance and experimental design critiques the construction of gender identity in mass culture.

In my video and performance work, I use appropriation to ask questions about the ways that cinematic identification constructs female subjects. My recent body of work, Jessica Chastain, challenges the logic of agency and autonomy that characterizes narrative cinema. Chastain, a popular Hollywood actress, occupies an archetypical female role. In her films, she is enmeshed within patriarchal systems that offer her power (like NASA or the CIA) while simultaneously constraining her actions, leaving her inert and depressed. Zero Dark Birthday and :/nterstellar are videos that use appropriated footage from Chastain’s films Zero Dark Thirty and Interstellar. The films are deconstructed and reordered with the addition of voice over, music, animation and text to produce new meanings, highlighting her marginalized position within the filmic narrative. Chastain is always acting, but never under her own power.

Another, ongoing project is a collaboration with experimental fashion designer Abigail Glaum-Lathbury titled JUMPSUIT, an open source, ungendered garment to replace all clothes. JUMPSUIT functions as both a wearable garment and a conversation about identity, fashion and consumption. Under the auspices of JUMPSUIT, we give performative lectures on the histories of revolutionary dress, focusing on feminist and avant-garde dress reform movements. My work in video and design takes mass culture, including the fashion industry and Hollywood film, as a site for intervention, questioning the ways that identifications are produced in the public realm.



Select Solo Exhibitions from 2011-2016

Jessica Chastain, The UAG, University of California, Irvine, CA

Zero Dark Birthday, Office Hours, Los Angeles, CA

Nature is Outside, Adjunct Positions, Los Angeles, CA

Select Group Exhibitions from 2011-2016 

Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
Libidinal Economies: Art in the Age of Bull Markets, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria.
SKIN, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Whitney Independent Study Program Studio Exhibition, EFA Project Space, New York, NY

Select Fellowships and Awards 

Special mention, Generations Award, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
Creative Economic Development Fund Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation, Los Angeles

Artist Fellowship, The Whitney Independent Study Program, New York, NY
IASPIS International Cultural Exchange Grant, Swedish Arts Grant Committee, Stockholm, Sweden

Select Community-based Artwork

The Rational Dress Society Presents a History of Counter-Fashion, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

Make your own JUMPSUIT, Sewing Rebellion, Long Beach, CA
Make your own JUMPSUIT, Machine Project, Los Angeles, CA

Make your own JUMPSUIT, Utopia School, Queens, NY


M.F.A., 2011
The University of California, Irvine, MFA in Studio Art

B.F.A., 2006
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago