woman standing in studio

Olivia Erlanger Plays Out Her Dreams at Frieze Los Angeles

Cultured Magazine: What makes a public commission apetizing?

Olivia Erlanger: I’m in art to speak to the masses. I’m interested in democratizing forms and conversations.

CM: Your vision of the environment always includes the guts. Can you tell me what the sculpture actually is?

OE: A massive, severed serpent tongue. It’s 12 feet long, six-and-a-half feet tall. I really have wanted to connect my interest in the infrastructure of a built environment to the horror and mundanity of suburban life within climate chaos. The idea of this horror was really exciting to me because a lot of the work that I’ve been making has a sense of fantasy, but I hadn’t yet twisted to its brother/sister: nightmare. That’s the turn that I’ve been trying to take with this sculpture.

CM: Architecture seems liek an inescapable part of your disposition.

OE: My brain is geared to creating puzzles, but they’re inverted because I’m making all the pieces and I don’t necessarily know the final image I’m putting together. That’s the art of it, right? I’m intuiting the direction.

CM: A lot of what you're doing is playing pretend with real life.

OE: I think that’s what I was talking about: that very thin line between fantasy and nightmare.