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Smoke and Mirrors

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"Smoke and Mirrors" is a filmed in Florence, Italy. The narrative is carried by casting a flame as the protagonist. This is one video from a series of “comedies,” made using footage from Florence, Italy combined with green screen effects. Historical sites are obscured by cheap “special effects” to create a narrative inspired by conventions of vaudeville and early cartoons.

John O’Donnell is a multidisciplinary artist and Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut. His practice as a new media artist addresses artifice, awkward transitions, humor and media representation through video, installation and performance. He uses a variety of traditional and experimental techniques to address formal and conceptual topics pertaining to illusion, construction, failure and nostalgia.

His videos have been exhibited at the following galleries: Flower Box Projects, Miami, FL; New Bedford Museum of Art, New Bedford, MA; New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY; Glass Box Gallery, Seattle, WA; Blue House Gallery, Dayton, OH; Chelsea Art Museum in New York.

He has also had work screened at these selected film festivals: Vertical Hold Film Festival, Ellensburg, WA; LE:60 Lumen Eclipse, Boston, MA; Movica 2008: New Vision, Hot Light and Fluid Pictures, Saint Louis, MO; OUTVIDEO 2006, Moscow and Saint Petersburg Russia. Videos were also selected to be part of Laugh, Cry, Be Poetic, Get Crazy, Venturous Vanguard Video Festival 2007 which travelled to Mission College, Cal State Northridge University, Northridge, CA; Echo Park Film Center, Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA; Altered Esthetics, Minneapolis, MN.

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