Exhibition: How to Shrimp Cocktail

Baltimore-based artist Danni O’Brien works with mixed media, creating three-dimensional hard and soft objects that come together  in an immersive installation.

How to Shrimp Cocktail Title Image
On view August 31 - October 9, 2021

Curatorial Statement

How to Shrimp Cocktail
 How to do it like how to do a dance or a new skill
 How to be like shrimp cocktail, nihilistic and pink and spineless
 How to advice shrimp cocktail – please lie there and look pathetic and delicious

O’Brien examines perceptions of gender, domesticity, craft and conspicuous consumption. O’Brien states: “My interdisciplinary art practice is rooted in anti-capitalism, haphazard play and owned queerness.” She creates what she describes as “precarious” assemblage sculptures. Her process includes “collecting, organizing, tinkering, festering and re-skinning.” She states that she concocts haphazardly, shoving materials into others, dangling them from each other, and forcing the components to rely only on each other. As a result, the work is inherently unstable, generating physical and conceptual precarity. This exhibition also includes drawings and wall-based relief sculptures responding to a collection of found diagrams and images sourced from outdated science texts, how to manuals, and DIY books. She isolates from what she describes as “beautifully complex and educational diagrams, removing them from context, and distorting and abstracting them.” Her sculptures, made up of small parts joined together, reference the body through pink, organic shapes and what seem to be limbs, their pulpy textures referencing flesh or organs.  There is a simultaneously tragic and wonderfully awkward quality to these figures.  

Installation Views

Individual Artwork


A Lecture by Artist Danni O'Brien


COFAC Innovator-in-Residence Shodekeh Talifero explores the breath in and of Danni's work

A vocal percussionist and beatboxer, Shodekeh uses breathwork, an artistic means of exploring the creative experience. He writes "I don’t have a single moment or experience of air to waste. I have to strike with everything that I have inside of me, right now…"

**due to the acoustics in the gallery, you must turn the volume all the way up to best hear this