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Marisa Olsen’s upcoming show is about “an active artist’s earliest creative efforts and they
provide evidence of an obsession with music, genre, psychology, and personal narrative that shines through in her more recent artworks.” It is an exhibition to celebrate the release of her book, Poems I Wrote While Listening to the Doors, 1992-1994 (Before I found the internet).

Olsen’s latest work makes a couple success-establishing gestures: the artist publishes a book, and the artist illuminates early creative endeavors in an exhibitionist fashion. The implication of success is multifaceted. First, the artist’s current work has achieved a level of polish so that the contrast between early days and current work is illuminating. Second, her work is successful enough to warrant public attention to the early stuff. The funny part is that it isn’t a pretentious or aggressive move because the content is so utterly embarrassing.

As the press release states, “The evening will continue Olson’s ongoing interest in public humiliation and the aesthetics of failure, from which she believes we can learn more, politically and personally, than from success.” Olsen’s retrospective glance into her teen years is humorous, nostalgic, and almost universal to teenage Doors fans. Perhaps another aspect of success is the ability to publicly and gracefully embrace early fledglings.

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