The art of Jillian Mayer reflects a generation that came of age in the 1980s. Mayer uses drawing, photography, video, online platforms, installation, and performance, and was one of the earliest artists to truly use the internet as a medium.
And the UMFA is lucky enough to have her as our next salt artist!
The above photo is taken from a still from one of Mayer’s works entitled “Mega Mega Upload.” Watch it here:
Writes Whitney Tassie, Curator of Contemporary Art: “Jillian Mayer appears in four artworks in salt 9: one video, one sculpture, and two photos. She is a mother and a baby, a physical reconstruction of a digital representation of reality, 300 celebrities, and herself. Use of the word “herself” is appropriate here because only one image of the artist is actually designated a self portrait, Self Portrait on October 5th, 2013 in North Carolina [below]. Ironically, without that title the subject of the photograph would be unidentifiable because the image is so overexposed that the sitter’s face is washed out. ”
Mayer’s new website www.selfeed.com aggregates selfies as they are uploaded. This will be visible in the salt gallery.
“By co-opting images that users post in an attempt to manage their online identity, Mayer highlights the Internet’s open source, cut-and-paste culture,” writes Tassie. “Without consent, a simply-coded algorithm divorces these self portraits from the user-controlled context of a Facebook or Twitter account.”
Contemporary art happening in real time!
As you can imagine, we are busy transforming the salt gallery in preparation for her exhibition.
“Mayer invites visitors to consider the construction of their own virtual identity by converting the salt gallery floor into a green screen,” writes Whitney Tassie.
And we mean green.
It’s truly amazing to watch members of the UMFA staff at work, and to see a space become so utterly transformed. I can’t wait to see the final results.
I don’t want to spoil the surprise by telling you what is happening with all of these installation shots– and honestly, I don’t think I could do it justice. This is something you’re just going to have to come in and see. And you’re in luck:
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16 | Free and open to the public
Exhibition Preview | 4 pm
Artist in Conversation with the Curator | 5 pm
Reception | 6 pm
Mayer’s work will be on view from January 16th until August 17th of 2014.
Here are some links to tide you over till opening day:
Her YouTube Channel: