Public Knowledge: A Performance by Michael O’Mahony

Michael O’Mahony’s performance is a multimedia work combining video, writing and music. The video work features footage of objects such as his sister’s childhood My Little Pony toy and his retired psychiatrist father’s lecture tapes; found in his parents’ house in the spring lockdown of 2020.

Accompanying the video are readings of O’Mahony’s writings, which are informed by his interest in psychotherapy (which he has experience of as a client and a student, having studied introductory courses in psychodynamic psychotherapy). The readings take the form of a chain of associations, covering topics such as speculations on family dynamics and the meaning of a recurring dream of a childhood game console.

The readings are interspersed with O’Mahony’s pop songs, made using Vocaloid, a virtual voice synthesizer; which are at once heartfelt and synthetic. The result is a detailed exploration of O’Mahony’s psychology, the nature of memory and the emotional attachments we make to ‘the made world’.

 


Biography

Michael O’Mahony (b. 1985, Dublin) is an artist whose practice spans numerous media, including music, writing, drawing and performance. Since graduating from St Martins in 2007, Michael has worked, for the most part, from his bedroom studio in Palmers Green, North London. O’Mahony has exhibited internationally and has performed at Frieze London and Boiler Room. He has an interest in psychotherapy and has exhibited work at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Image courtesy of the artist, Michael O’Mahony. 2021.