Deirdre McConnell & Anna Mayer “Real Road”


poster for Deirdre McConnell & Anna Mayer “Real Road”
[Image: Lavyrinth (2009) performance for broadcast with hair and incantation]

This event has ended.

Calico Gallery present Real Road, an exhibition that brings together the sculptural work of Deirdre McConnell and Anna Mayer. Drawing on her interest in the potential and the limitations of human connection, Deirdre McConnell’s new work places and frames the viewer within the gallery space. Her large-scale woven hex is at the center of the exhibition, its intricate craft creating an architecture that is spacious yet confining. Its center functions both as sign and stage. Gallery visitors are invited to engage with the sculpture as both. In an effort to emphasize certain threads of McConnell’s proposition, Anna Mayer’s contributions to Real Road will surround the stage, looking in on the piece and all who enter it. Mayer’s work often diagrams her own consciousness as she fluctuates between states of soaking up and spellbinding. The textile and ceramic works included in this exhibition use a labor-intensive rendering of objects and people in order to give body to subtle shifts in behavior. Mayer’s attention to what is below the surface acknowledges that consciousness has many blind spots. In this instance she will help illuminate the space below, above, and all around McConnell’s installation.

Real Road emerges from an early collaborative performance in Los Angeles entitled Lavyrinth (2009), for which the two artists engaged in the simple act of one woman braiding another’s hair. The braiding became ritual; the ritual created shape; and the shape formed a spell. The act had long-term consequences for both artists, and Real Road highlights the present-day strategies used by McConnell and Mayer that relate to their collaborative spell-making from years ago. In reference but not deference to the historical trope of “beguiling woman,” the artists offer the gallery as a site for positive self-consciousness. Their faithful acts attract. In a historical moment when greater group consciousness is being urgently called for, Real Road offers an opportunity for a self to have an experience that helps her better relate to a group. The criss-crossing of two artists’ work allows for intertwined revelations.

The artists invite gallery visitors to hark and come hither, gaze and be known, use bodies and voices, approximate.

Deirdre McConnell is an artist living and working in Queens, NY. She received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Select exhibitions include Arts@Renaissance (NY), Camel Art Space (NY), A.I.R. Gallery (NY), St. Cecilia’s (NY), Gowanus Studio Space (NY), Five Thirty Three (LA), Fly Gallery (Madrid). She was Artist in Residence at Ox-Bow School of Art in 2006 and Summer Fellow in 2004.

Anna Mayer lives and works in Los Angeles, where she received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2007. Selected exhibitions include the Hammer Museum’s Venice Beach Biennial, Night Gallery (LA), Galerie Catherine Bastide (BR), Kendall Koppe (UK), Commonwealth & Council (LA), and Klaus Von Nichtssagend (NY). In addition to her solo practice, Mayer works with Jemima Wyman as part of the collaborative duo CamLab, which has staged events in Los Angeles at MOCA, the Hammer Museum, and Wildness at the Silver Platter.



from September 18, 2015 to October 24, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-09-18 from 19:00 to 22:00

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