the Campbells Newsroom

For Immediate Release: Wiener and Neel
December 12, 2008, 10:52 pm
Filed under: art, event


Flower arrangements and portraits from Vertigo by Michelle Wiener and Tucker Neel

at Samuel Freeman

December 16, 2008, to January 31, 2009

In Samuel Freeman’s Chapel Gallery, artists Michelle Wiener and Tucker Neel will exhibit “If I do what you tell me will you love me?”, an installation recreating the ominous flower arrangements from the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo. The arrangements will be left unattended, to decay naturally over the course of the exhibition. Complementing the flower arrangements, Wiener will exhibit a series of small box portraits depicting the main female characters from the film–metaphors fly as the rear view vantage point and the characters’ iconic hairdos hint at themes of obsession, investigation, deliverance and closure

Is this meticulous re-creation simply an artist’s homage to the flower-symbol of the feminine and sublime, one of fine art’s favorite subjects, and the legendary auteur’s preferred visual idom? Is it an exercise in ghostly possession, with Wiener and Neel taking on pathological new personae in parallel with the film’s plotline? Is it portraiture as metonym: flowers in place of person; the confines of a film in place the expansiveness of real life; the transience of a temporary exhibition in place of death and interment? Is it merely a fan’s memorial to the landmark film’s 50th anniversary?

In their artist statement for the show, Wiener and Neel assert that the installation is not about the film per se, but rather uses the film as a springboard for deeper exploration. “In this exhibition we present an installation investigating issues of reconstituted memory, gender roles and the decorative elements that symbolically stand for, and emotionally trigger, desire and nostalgia. Our intention is to refocus the viewer’s attention away from the obvious and predictable, and towards the suspicious accoutrements, peculiar phrases, and inexplicable actions that too often go unnoticed yet hold powerful personal and collective resonance.”

Regardless of the exhibition’s intent, the effect of “If I do what you tell me will you love me?” is mesmerizing and, in true Hitchcock fashion, beautifully unsettling. Each character is available for purchase, consisting of a vase, and explicit instructions for recreating the floral arrangement at home.

Concurrently showing at Samuel Freeman in the main gallery space: WinterWaterColorLand – a selection of watercolors from H.C. Westermann, Billy Al Bengston, Martin Mull, Ed Moses, Kim McCarty, Marcel Dzama and more TBD.


December 16, 2008, to January 31, 2009

Opening reception is on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 from 5 to 7pm (please note: this opening takes place on a Tuesday).

A reception brunch will take place on January 24, 2009 from 11am to 1pm, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Art Show.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm


Samuel Freeman
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, B7
Santa Monica, California 90404 USA


For more information, and to request interviews and hi-res images, the press should contact Brent Turner at the Campbells PR, 323-244-5058 or

For more information, the public should call 310-449-1479 or visit


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