Genevieve Erin O’Brien
performance & video artist

Genevieve Erin O’Brien is a Vietnamese/Irish/American artist, culinary adventurer, community organizer, and popular educator. O’Brien lives and works in Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

She holds an MFA in Studio Art/Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has recently been conducting research for a new body of art work in Vietnam as a Fulbright Fellow in 2009. O’Brien uses performance, video and installation to explore notions of “home” and “homeland”. As a mixed race child of Vietnamese immigrant mother and an Irish-American father, she investigates issues such as war and memory, transnational identity and belonging, and multiple identities and its attendant baggage. Using food, humor, narrative and conceptual structures, she develops work that is invested in collective healing from trauma, whether personal or inherited to further social justice and cultural understanding.

In 2008, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago presented O’Brien’s conceptual performance, Peace Salon as part of the 12×12 series showcasing emerging artists. Her conceptual and durational performances, as well as installations and videos have been presented at galleries and public venues in numerous cities including Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and across the US in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC.

Called a “modern day Virgil” by the LA Weekly, O’Brien’s one woman shows address hate crimes, homophobia, and violence against women, with sensitivity and humor. As a community activist and popular educator, O’Brien has developed programs for Sisterfire, Southern Californians for Youth, the UCLA Labor Center’s Summer Internship Program, and APALA (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance). She was a founding member of Arts In Action, a political and cultural arts collective space in the heart of Los Angeles.

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