salt 9: Jillian Mayer
January 17–August 17, 2014
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"What's the point of living offline anymore?" Jillian Mayer asks in her catchy sing-a-long MegaMega Upload. The artist debuted this hip-hop song on her YouTube channel in January 2013 before it premiered as part of her short film #PostModem at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, the video has received 21,000 views and has inspired more than 160 viewer comments. In 2011 Mayer uploaded her song and video I Am Your Grandma, and it's since received 2,445,525 views, 20,895 likes, 1,601 dislikes, and 7,970 viewer comments-not to mention the countless spoofs it's inspired, including choreographed dances and remakes by five-year-olds, an Internet troll, college students, a fake plastic kitty, Darth Vader, Wes Borland, and a Cabbage Patch Kid.
But, what does it mean to upload your soul to the Internet or to leave a timeless video message for your unborn grandchild? Cloaked with humor, fast editing, and pop soundtracks, Mayer's videos are designed for mass appeal but ask big questions about human connection and manufactured realities. Her work lives in, and is activated by, viewer participation. She investigates the (im)possibility of authenticity and the multiplicity of authorship by co-opting the visual language and tools of Google, online chat boards, and viral videos. Indebted to the cultural constructions of the 1980s sitcom but looking ahead to the infinite implications of the Internet, Mayer uses photography, video, drawing, installation, and performance to tease out the pathways and pitfalls of postmodern identity formation while considering our increasing integration with the web and questioning the distinction between reality and the virtual world.
Jillian Mayer (American, b. 1984, lives Miami) received her BFA from Florida International University in 2007. In 2010 her video Scenic Jogging was one of twenty-five selections for the Guggenheim's YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video and was exhibited at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; and Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany. Recent solo projects include Love Trips at World Class Boxing, Miami (2011) and Precipice/PostModem at Locust Projects, Miami (2013). In 2012 and 2013 Mayer's short films were selected to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2013 Mayer was in residency in Berne, Switzerland, as a Zentrum Paul Klee Fellow and in New York City as an NEA Southern Constellation Fellow.
Tacita Dean: JG
January 24–May 4, 2014
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JG is a new film project by internationally recognized artist Tacita Dean. It is inspired by her correspondence with British author J. G. Ballard (1930–2009) regarding connections between his short story ‘The Voices of Time' (1960) and Robert Smithson's iconic earthwork and film, Spiral Jetty (both 1970). JG tries to respond to Ballard's challenge-posed to Dean shortly before he died—that she should treat the Spiral Jetty as a mystery that her film would solve. Employing her patented technique of "aperture gate masking," in which she uses stencil-like masks to alternately cover up and re-expose her film, Dean combines images shot at different locations and times to generate visual and conceptual juxtapositions within the space of the individual 35mm frame. Shot in central California, Utah's desert, the Great Salt Lake, and even the Hogle Zoo, the film intersperses a variety of salt-encrusted landscapes, machines, and animals with a host of abstract shapes and voids. The viewer experiences time and place in ways that parallel the effects of Ballard's fiction and Smithson's earthwork and film. JG reaches across decades and disciplines, tracing the connection between three distinct artists and their interrelated work.
JG was commissioned by Arcadia University Art Gallery and funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and is presented at the UMFA in collaboration with the Salt Lake Film Society.
IN COLLABORATION WITH:
Special thanks to Sundance Institute for their support.
The Center for Land Use Interpretation:
Great Salt Lake Landscan
January 24–May 4, 2014
The Utah Museum of Fine Arts commissioned the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI), a Wendover/Los Angeles-based research organization concerned with how the nation's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived, to produce a "landscan" of the Great Salt Lake. Filmed from helicopters, CLUI landscans are dynamic, crystal clear, gyro-stabilized high-definition videos that function as portraits of places. They represent major elements of continental land use, depicting man-affected landscapes so large the only way to visually capture them is with one long, continuous, aerial shot. Accompanied by subtle ambient sound, The Great Salt Lake Landscan flies over brilliantly colored salt concentration ponds and a landscape often described as otherworldly.
THE SAVAGE POEM AROUND ME:
ALFRED LAMBOURNE'S GREAT SALT LAKE
NOW ON VIEW | December 13, 2013-June 15, 2014
Alfred Lambourne walked the Mormon Trail in 1866, at age sixteen, to Salt Lake City, sketching during much of the route. By the 1880s he had become a well-known local artist who painted and traveled with Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt on their many visits to Salt Lake City. Of the varied landscapes he painted, nothing held his imagination so thoroughly as the Great Salt Lake. Captivated by it, he painted many views of Black Rock, the infinite and varied moods of the weather, and the shipwrecks and the drama of the lake. In 1887 he realized his dream of perfect solitude by homesteading Gunnison Island.
In his book Our Inland Sea: The Story of a Homestead he described the first day of his fourteen-month exile: "Ghostly, wrapped in its shroud of snow, my island stands white above the blackness of unfreezing waters. What have I done? Although I had lived these days by anticipation, no sooner had the sails of the departing yacht vanished below the watery horizon …than I realized at once, and with a strange sinking of the heart…the savage poem around me." This exhibition will explore the art-roughly twenty-five paintings-the many sketches, and the poetry and writing of this unique and beloved pioneer artist and his obsession with the landscape of our "inland sea"—the Great Salt Lake.
NOW ON VIEW | September 13, 2013 – July 28, 2014
Exploring Sustainability is an exhibition of new projects that explore how principles of ecological sustainability and affiliated design strategies are applied to creative thinking and to the design process. During Sustainable Design Practice, the University of Utah studio art course in which this work was created, students gained an overview of the environmental impacts of design and production practices as well as the processes and methods associated with more sustainable approaches. The projects created over the course of the spring 2013 semester are inspired examples of how students integrated sustainable design into their own creative process. The exhibition is intended to stimulate further dialogue among the university and local communities about issues related to sustainability.
BENT TO A STRAIGHT AND NARROW AT A POINT OF PASSAGE
A fascinating work of language sculpture by groundbreaking contemporary artist Lawrence Weiner is now on view in the UMFA G.W. Anderson Family Great Hall. Purchased by the Museum in 2011 with funds from the Phyllis Cannon Wattis Endowment for 20th Century Art, BENT TO A STRAIGHT AND NARROW AT A POINT OF PASSAGE (1976) is an important addition to the UMFA's permanent collection of contemporary art and represents a canonical moment in art history.
Click HERE for more, including a time-lapse video of the installation process.
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