Showdeo by Michaela O'Brien

Archival pigment prints, Polyester fabric prints

Acts of pageantry form an integral part of life in Love Valley, North Carolina where, since 1954, a population of about a 100 residents have formed the only Christian, cowboy utopia this side of the Mississippi. Here, women ritualistically perform gloved offerings of ribbons, trophies, and cups in the name of patriotism and frontier freedom. In Showdeo, an assemblage of materials from the town's archives seeks to reveal the gendered underpinnings of a community's foundation.

Michaela O’Brien is a documentary artist and multimedia producer currently based in Durham, NC. She holds an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. Her work includes independent documentaries for broadcast, award-winning audiovisual installations, client-based archival research, and interactive videos for a variety of acclaimed museums. Her moving image and photographic works have been featured in film festivals and galleries worldwide. She is currently teaching in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University.