Artist: Connor O’Brien
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Connor is a senior here at Cal State Long Beach working towards his BFA in Photography. He grew up in Long Beach, California and has always had a passion for taking pictures with his camera. He especially enjoys Studio Photography because he feels he has a better sense of control. When he’s not going to school or taking care of his father, he goes out to enjoy some live shows.
When I walked in, I was actually surprised to just see just the screen displayed. These past few months, I have been so used to walking into these very busy exhibits with many different types of media plastered throughout the entire room; it was nice to see the short film made by Connor that spoke so many words. With the video capturing the day-to-day life of Connor, his brother, and his dad, I could feel the struggles all 3 of them are experiencing. It took Connor a day to film, but took him a while to edit and figure out what he wanted to put in the final video. The music was made by his cousin in response to the video; which I think matches perfectly with the video.
Connor and his family started noticing minor problems with his father 15 years ago, but major symptoms didn’t arise until a year before his diagnosis. With the video that he displayed, he wanted to show awareness about the day to day life that not only Dementia victims go through, but what their loved ones go through as well. Connor said that his dad goes through many cycles-it can range from randomly crying to not talking to anyone. Before his dad’s illness, he use to a very healthy and active person. He also would teach Special Education students at Wilson High School in Long Beach.
Even though I don’t know anyone personally who has dementia, I have always been interested in the illness. It’s crazy to see how someone’s life can change so drastically within a relatively small period of time. Even with the video, I don’t think I can truly understand it until I know someone personally that has it; and I think that goes with about any illness-physical or mental.