While the printed image comprises the majority of Gina Osterloh’s oeuvre, her photography, video, performance art, and steel sculptures with text activate photographic conditions including replica, representation, flatness and volume, presence and absence, illusion and the Real, desire and repulsion. Her work urgently ask us to pause – as we participate in a world of image text militarization, globally in an unconscious weaponized state of keloid.
Osterloh’s photography and live performances present strategies of abstraction, mark-making, the tracing of her own silhouette, or her body bound in reflective tape– to interrogate the boundaries of a body and notions of identity. Osterloh’s meticulously constructed photo tableaux and drawings for the camera, expand our understanding of portraiture and what photography can be. Symbolic themes and formal elements such as the void, orifice, camouflage, and the grid, in addition to a heightened awareness of color and repetitive pattern appear throughout Osterloh’s work. Osterloh cites her experiences as a mixed-race Filipina-German American woman in Ohio as a set of formative experiences that led her to photography, larger questions of perception, and how a viewer perceives difference.
Solo exhibitions and performances include her demilitarized zone at Silverlens Galleries; Gina Osterloh at Higher Pictures Generation (NY); Shadow Woman as part of En Cuatro Patas at The Broad Museum (Los Angeles); ZONES at Silverlens, Manila; Slice, Strike, Make an X, Prick! at Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles); Nothing to See Here There Never Was at Silverlens (Manila, Philippines); Group Dynamic at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), and Anonymous Front at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Group exhibitions include Multiply, Identify, Her at the International Center of Photography in New York City; Not Visual Noise at Ateneo Art Gallery; Ateneo University in Quezon City, Philippines; an idea of a boundary at the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery; Ours is a City of Writers at the Barnsdall Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta at ASU Museum, Demolition Women curated by Commonwealth & Council at Chapman University and Fragments of the Unknowable Whole Urban Arts Space OSU. Reviews of her work have been featured in The New Yorker Magazine, Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, Lens/cratch, Contemporary Art Daily, Hyphen Magazine, Art Asia Pacific, Asian Art News, Art Papers, Artforum Critics Pick, Art Practical, ABS/CBN Philippines, and KCET Artbound Los Angeles.
Essays about Osterloh’s work are featured in books and anthologies such as Energy Charge / Connecting with Ana Mendieta: Simone Leigh, Gina Osterloh, Antonia Wright, Ana Teresa Fernandez, and Kate Gilmore published by the Arizona State University Museum; Multiply, Identify, Her published by the International Center of Photography; and An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders. Awards include an Ohio Arts Council Grant for Individual Excellence, The Wayne P. Lawson Columbus Museum of Art Acquisitions Award; a Fulbright in the Philippines, a Woodstock Center of Photography residency, and a Create Cultivate Grant with the LA County Arts Commission and LACE. Osterloh also occasionally contributions writing, including an essay about Charles Gaines' Shadows series, published by Ursula Magazine / Hauser & Wirth. Gina Osterloh is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University.