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Still image: The Fisherman. 19 minutes, 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic, artist Lauren Cohen found herself grappling with feelings of loneliness and isolation, and in response, she began developing a fictional character, The Fisherman. To fully immerse herself in this character's world, she adopted a unique and creative approach, donning the attire of her father, brother, and great uncle, and documented herself having virtual dates with the imaginary man.


Cohen was awarded a residency at MacDowell in the winter of 2023. Her time spent there was essential in producing this film, which features over three hundred ceramic pieces and several oil paintings, all of which serve as integral components of the feature. Cohen’s sculptural work is intended to be displayed alongside the film.


Drawing on her diverse creative background in painting, drawing, sculpture, and comedic performance, the artist’s research focuses primarily on complex issues such as power dynamics, control, sexuality, violence, and the social constructs of the "other." Growing up in Puritan New England deeply influenced Cohen’s artistic sensibilities, as she explores historical events and characters as a means of constructing fictional mythologies.


Lauren Cohen’s work is distinguished by its fusion of honesty and psychological depth, which is often expressed using humor and satire as a coping strategy. Through her creative process, she engages in existential inquiry, exploring the range of humanity's beauty and horror. By intertwining symbols, memories, artifacts, and reinventions from different eras and cultures, she seeks to create a unique universe that offers new perspectives on the human experience.


The Fisherman premiered in the Department of Film at The Museum of Modern Art on May 24th, 2023.

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