Really Large Numbers



Press Highlights

...the dead whale takes this opening to bemoan her orphaned child, and, in response to further questioning, to affirm that whales have souls and that souls pass from mother to child through the umbilical cord. If this mystical ecofeminist excursus threatens to wreck the video on the shoals of didacticism, the video’s closing sequence is ambiguous and perplexing enough to steer clear of that fate. An astonished Ahab watches a rope grow from his navel downward, past the ship, past a giant whale with intelligent eye, to an anchor just beneath the whale at the bottom of the sea. Finis. If the soul comes through the umbilical cord, does Ahab’s anchoring to the watery waste of the sea floor suggest his spiritual poverty, or does the anchor’s proximity to the whale imply the kindred greatness of Ahab’s soul? Or do we have here simply reassurance that the world is indeed anchored somewhere? Eerie music, punctuated with pinging radar, underscores the video’s open-endedness. The analogies between Nature and the soul of man are indeed beyond all utterance. Dr. Dawn Coleman, Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, March 2017

...Oldham is the embodiment of our seeking, our longing, our looking to figure out our place in both the known and unknown worlds. You can spot a person in love with life because they tend to look to the biggest and the smallest phenomena—from the nature of the cosmos to the qualities of the Least weasel—to find answers about their own humanity. Julia Oldham is an artist in love. --Jennifer Rabin, Oregon ArtsWatch, September 7, 2016

...practical effects are alive and well in the art world, where artists as varied as the Quay Brothers, Marnie Weber, and Julia Oldham use makeup, masks, and models to creepy, touching, and hilarious ends. --Ariela Gittlen, Artsy Editorial, August 16, 2016

...let me suggest you attempt delving into the work she has done revolving around the Soviet space dog, Laika— this work will catapult you into an emotionally-wrenching cosmic spin. --Sabina Poole, Oregon ArtsWatch, September 22, 2015

Julia Oldham's Farewell Brave Voyager at the Portland Pataphysical Society may be the most emotionally demanding exhibition one will see in Portland all year. It is easily the strongest solo show on view at the moment, presenting a tale of science, sacrifice and a compelling combination of whimsy laced with a lethal dose of tragedy. --Jeff Jahn, PORT, May 12, 2015

For her bizarre and uncanny performance videos, Julia Oldham studies insects and appropriates their behavior. In “Pull,” she fills the center of the frame with a glowing orb, and she flutters and bats against it like a moth. The video is sped up, and she appears as if she’s frantically trying to embrace the light, like a panicked soul searching for God. The best work in this show comes from artists such as Oldham, whose scrutiny of non-humans sheds light on us. --Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe, November 25, 2013

Best in show, however, goes to Julia Oldham (b. 1979), whose spare, affecting video "Antimatter Twin" (2011), recalling Ingmar Bergman's "Persona," explores the contemplation of self. --Lance Esplund, "Video Artist on Pause; Prodigies in Play", Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2011

Julia Oldham's video of herself and her double in dreamy meetings supposed to allegorize something about small-particle physics is expertly produced and psychologically intriguing. --Ken Johnson, "Bronx Calling: The First AIM Biennial: Learning About the Marketplace and Entering It", New York Times, August 11, 2011

In a short documentary, Julia Oldham, who makes science videos, amusingly describes a failed collaboration with two physicists, sketching symbols of logic to diagram the trio's personal struggles. It's a charming work that, like many others here, stretches the notion of drawing and carries a comforting message: The urge to make art can thrive just about anywhere. --Robert Shuster, "Day Job at the Drawing Center", Village Voice, December 22, 2010

Julia Oldham's charming videos, now on show at G Fine Art in Northeast, can be a touch... complicated, especially for those of us who went the artsy route in high school. --Blake Gopnik, "Art, Science or Both?", Washington Post, September 21, 2010

Most exciting is probably Julia Oldham's Fundamental Constants, which she collaborated with a physicist on... --Perrin Drum, "Young Curators, New Ideas III", sunFiltered at the Sundance Channel, July 21, 2010

Full List of Press

2017 Coleman, Dawn. "Whales in Cincinnati", Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies, Volume 19, Number 1, March 2017, p122-139.
2016 Rabin, Jennifer. "Julia Oldham: Filming the Human-Animal Hybrid", Oregon ArtsWatch, September 7
2016 Gittlen, Ariela. "7 Vanishing Technologies Making a Comeback through Art, Artsy Editorial, August 16, 2016.
2016 Kramer, Elizabeth. "Bernheim residency links artists with nature", Courier-Journal, January 20
2015 Poole, Sabina. "Julia Oldham: Girl Masqued", Oregon Artswatch, September 22
2015 Jahn, Jeff. "Julia Oldham at Portland Pataphysical Society", PORT, May 12
2013 McQuaid, Cate. "The Artist-Animal Connection", Boston Globe, November 25, 2013
2012 Graves, Jen. Layoffs, Missing Persons, and Hot Wheels", The Stranger, January 31
2011 Johnson, Ken. Bronx Calling: The Frist AIM Biennial: Learning About the Marketplace and Entering It," New York Times, August 11.
2011 Johnson, Paddy. Bronx Calling, The First AIM Biennial: Profit and Loss", Art Fag City, July 21.
2011 Meier, Allison. "Bronx Calling: The First AIM Biennial", Hyperallergic, July 18
2011 Esplund, Lance. "Video Artist on Pause; Prodigies in Play", Wall Street Journal, July 9.
2011 Barratt, Caroline. "The Way Things Work", Flagpole, April 27
2011 Hitselberger, Brian, "Machinery and Mystery at ATHICA's The Way Things Work", Burnaway, April 22
2010 Shuster, Robert. "Day Job at the Drawing Center", Village Voice, December 22
2010 Karlins, N. F., "Day Job", Arnet, January 14
2010 Gopnik, Blake, "Art, Science or Both?" Washington Post, September 21
2010 Cotter, Holland, "Young Curators, New Ideas III", New York Times, August 20
2010 Levy, Michele, "New Curators: A Sequel", ArtSlant, July 31
2010 Drumm, Perrin, "Young Curators, New Ideas III", sunFiltered at the Sundance Channel, July 21
2010 Heilenman, Diane, "Julia Oldham's insect videos have legs", Louisville Courier-Journal, Arts, May 9
2010 Peng, Qi, "Exclusive Assassination: Julia Oldham,", January 18
2009 Goetzman, Keith, "Dance Like a Bug," Utne Reader, Arts Blog, December 21
2009 Bras & Resende, "Churr-churr Ziz Ziz Ziz", Magnetica Magazine, Volume 13, December, p. 58-59
2009 Jerousek-Smith, Madeleine. "A Bug's Dance", The University of Chicago Magazine, November-December
2009 Chatterson, Kris. "Downtown May 2009," KCLOG, May 31
2009 Chatterson, Kris. "Red Hook Brooklyn May 2009", KCLOG, May 24
2009 Covit, Dana. "Transmodern in Retrospect", Radar Redux, April 19
2009 Ayala, Bruno. "Julia Oldham apresenta "Balmy" no Espaço3", Janela Urbana, March 24
2009 Leorne, Ana. "Internacionalização da vídeo-arte de Julia Oldham começa por Lisboa", Rascunho, March 23
2009 Video interview with Art in General, Art in General Production Notes, April 4
2009 Hackett, Regina."'Dearly Madly': Romance as the End of the Road", March 25, Another Bouncing Ball, Seattle, WA
2009 Hobart, Erika. "Julia Oldham", Seattle Weekly, Arts Section, March 28
2009 Parsons, Laura. "Nice Niche: Art Sparks in the Stacks", The Hook, February 2
2009 "Archeology of Wonder Closing Reception", Real Hartford, January 4
2008 Hoffman, Hank. "Diverse 'Archeology of Wonder' show at Real Art Ways", Connecticut Art Scene, December 10
2008 Symkus, Ed. "Into the 'Wild'", Wicked Local, April 1
2007 Ramos, Sam. "Gallery Shorts", F News, May Edition
2006 "A Closer Look: Recent Graduate Work", Tableau, Spring/Summer, Volume 8, Number 1, p. 15