salt 9: Jillian Mayer
January 17–August 17, 2014
"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 (tentative)
JG, the new film project by internationally recognized artist Tacita Dean, takes its point of departure from the physical and thematic interplay between a work of science fiction and a work of Land art: the short story The Voices of Time (1960) by writer J. G. Ballard and the Spiral Jetty (1970) by artist Robert Smithson.
In a series of conversations with Ballard prior to his death in 2009, Dean was encouraged to treat Spiral Jetty as a mystery that might be solved through a filmic investigation into the nature of history and material. 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 transfers images from one place to another, generating visual and conceptual juxtapositions within the space of the individual 35mm frame.
Shot in 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 artwork.
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
The Center for Land Use Interpretation:
The 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.
Creation and Erasure:
Art of the Bingham Canyon Mine
May 30–September 28, 2014
Northern Utah’s Bingham Canyon Mine, the largest man-made excavation on earth, has been a source of fascination and inspiration for artists around the country since the mine’s earliest days. Spanning 1873 to the present, this exhibition presents paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs that examine the mine from a variety of perspectives, tracing its physical development as well as its effects on the local economy, culture, environment, and people. Featured artists include Jonas Lie, William Rittase, Andreas Feininger, Jean Arnold, Edward Burtynsky, Robert Smithson, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation, among others. The exhibition also includes photographs of the mine after the massive landslide of spring 2013, the effects of which continue to impact both the mine’s operations and the local economy.