Meet Molly Surno

 

ARTIST, WILLIAMSBURG

Born in California, Molly creates physical experiences that connect people to their own bodies and the “communal body.” So whether she is working as the Director of Partnerships at Splacer or composing a sound sculpture for BAM, her work is always about the human form and how it generates tension and unity when sharing space. Her works has exhibited internationally at the Essl Museum, Salzburg Museum of Modern Art, Suzanne Geiss, and Anat Ebgi Galery. She is also the founder and director of Cinema 16, which pairs contemporary musicians with experimental films.

INSTAGRAMWEBSITE | ♫ LISTEN TO MOLLY'S PLAYLIST | ⌨ LAST GOOGLE SEARCH

 

top, American Apparel ; jeans, Wrangler ; bag, louis vuitton ; Scarf, Urban outfitters ; Necklace, ADINA REYTER 


 

SHOP THIS FEATURE

 
 
My art career has taken many different forms but I would say what unites them is creating physical experiences that connect people to their own bodies and the “communal body.” This has taken many forms: my series Cinema 16 or my sound choreography at BAM, We of Me. These ideas are influenced by the traditions of social sculpture, happenings, séances, and rituals, among other things. I use film, sound, performance, sculpture, and photography as a launching point to explore genre, the psycho sexual, the fragmented body, gender, and ritual.
I love rituals although I rarely adhere to them. The current one I am going with: wake up, resist looking at my phone, brush my teeth, scrape my tongue, wash my face with either Cere Ve or baking soda, moisturize with Linne facial oil, and apply sunscreen. If I’m feeling ambitious I will make yogurt with fruit and honey or do some stretching. And of course I go to Variety every morning before work for the best iced coffee in town.
For BAM, I handmade hairbrushes filled with microphones and choreographed a 1 hour sound piece with 20 male performers. In the middle, my collaborator Brian Chase, drummer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and I did a live mix in the middle. This piece was so much about the collective experience of listening, how sound affects our bodies, how touch and watching people being touched [affects our bodies]—there’s a very physical component.
Molly's favorite books

Molly's favorite books

 
 
I work as the Director of Partnerships for Splacer, which means I get to talk to the most interesting people, organizations, collectives, and help them figure out how to reimagine space for any sort of creative activation. Social space and how people congregate in present time is always a driving force in my work. At Splacer I get to reimagine space as it relates to a variety of gatherings. Working with so many different types of people, I get to help conceptualize, execute, curate, and contribute to the culture of the site by programming really remarkable social gatherings. So far I’ve gotten to collaborate with everyone from the Criterion Collection to Van Alen Institute.
Ultimately I am a creature of convenience, so I generally choose a handful of places that I commit to on and offline. These days I love Staud clothing based in LA, online shop LisaSaysGah, American Apparel, Trademark, and American Two Shot. So many of my friends have incredible style and they inspire me constantly: Sarah Kuhn, Gaby Ron, Jasmine Pasquill to name a few...
Michael Taussig’s Beauty and the Beast is my new favorite text- essentially about the nature of beauty and the grotesque. Does all beauty end in tragedy? Taussig is an anthropologist at Columbia and uses case studies in Colombia where he compares plastic surgery cases, the aesthetics of nacrotrafficing, and the reconstructive surgery of high profile drug criminals. It’s so incredible!

Molly's Ceramic

I try to mix it up: a combination of 60s French New Wave, with 70s Southwest desert, beach girl, and old fashioned maiden. Cher has become somewhat of a style icon to me, which is birthed out of my obsession with extremely long hair (as evident in my art!).
Neil Young’s On the Beach has sort of carried me through my teens and into adult life. The sounds are really silky and haunting. They remind of a Los Angeles that I was too young to ever know. Simultaneously betraying and full of promise.

Molly's Favorite Records

 
 
 
 
 
I like to think of myself as pretty low maintenance but I am sure that’s a total self distortion. In the last two years I have gotten really into skin care and do a facial every two months. I wash my face day and night with something super gentle and moisturize with Linne facial repair oil, which is all organic botanical products. Once a week I use the Christine Chin Hydration Mask (also when I fly). Really important to keep hydrated especially in such a congested city like New York.
Molly's favorite haircare products

Molly's favorite haircare products

Dress, Staud

 
 
I’ve been trying to grow out my hair for years and take it really seriously. Every morning I take Biotin and rub coconut oil into the ends of my hair. I wash it once a week with Pureology, which I actually learned about from Passerbuys! Also I try to do a conditioning treatment once a month and dust off the dead ends.
Molly's favorite makeup

Molly's favorite makeup

Molly's favorite skincare

One of my favorite beauty tips is baking soda for washing your face once a week. It’s great- sort of a natural scrub and even outs your skin tone. And of course water and sleep- better than anything you can buy. Also threading only on your face- best shape for your brows and doesn’t pull at your skin. (Warning: extreme discomfort)

 

 

SHOP HER WISHLIST

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

✓ Threading: Amazing Eyebrows on 331 Graham Ave

✓ Coffee: Variety

✓ Acupuncture: Sherry Chang in Williamsburg

✓ Facial: Christine Chin

✓ Salon V for Collagen Conditioning Treatment

✓ For amazing food, Eastwood, Speedy Romeo as an alternative to Roberta's, for a food/wine splurge The Four Horsemen

✓ Windowfront art gallery Four A.M

✓ For a special beach: Dead Horse Bay

 

 

MOLLY'S FAVORITE MOVIES