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September 17 - November 26, 2005 at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica,
and September 9 - November 13, 2005 at Cal State L.A., Luckman Gallery, East Los Angeles

by Jody Zellen

“House of Falling Leaves,” 2005,
C-print with collage, framed, 42 x 48".
At Rosamund Felsen Gallery.
Marnie Weber’s “Ghost Love, the Spirit Girls” is a multi media extravaganza creating a fictional life for a group of girls, now dead, who perform scenarios about their life and death. Like in many of Weber’s past installations, she makes the costumes, photographs and sculptures to document the story. Numerous photo-collages show the girls, dressed in white, frolicking in fantastical landscapes and interacting with animals--including deer, bears and rabbits. Presented alongside the photographs are props from Weber’s DVD. These larger than life sized mannequins are dressed as animals and ghosts. One even sits in a chair, watching Weber’s 13-minute movie “Spirit Girls, Songs that Never Die.”

At Cal State L.A., Weber is the subject of a concurrent exhibition entitled “From the Dust Room.” Photo-collages from recent series complement numerous elaborately dressed mannequins--animal figures who appear in the photo-collages. The collages feature images of highly decorated interiors--rooms from the Getty Museum that have been transformed into stage sets for the character’s surreal adventures. Animals and statues intermingle in these altered worlds. A key element in this installation is a large-scale doll house hand crafted by Weber that served as the stage for many of the photographs. Being able to see both the source as well as the resulting image helps reveal Weber’s innovative process.

Her recent collages are more seamless and precise than the previous work, blurring the line between fact and fiction. While everything in Weber’s world is make believe and a fantasy come to life, her presentation turns reality on its head. This is at once enchanting and bewildering. In its performance format, Weber’s work multi-layered work includes music, video and performance along with the visual elements. A theatrical performance of “Songs That Never Die” will be at Cal State L.A.’s Intimate Theatre at Luckman Art Complex on Saturday, October 22 at 8 pm.

"The Dust Room" from "The Dollhouse" series,
2002, collage on photograph, 33 x 42".
At Cal State L.A.

“The Parlor,” 2001, collage on photograph.
At Cal State L.A.