by Anna Mayer
SEPTEMBER 7 – SEPTEMBER 28, 2019
Opening Reception: September 7 from 6-9pm
State of Ceramics discussion: September 28 from 3-5pm
Anna Mayer presents a new body of work at A-B Projects that explores relationships between personal, planetary, and historical protocols of grieving. Early references for this work include mourning rituals from the Victorian era—a time which witnessed the expansion and domination of the Industrial Revolution. These rituals involved women’s black mourning wear, which was gradually and progressively inflected with lighter patterns over periods of months or years as a means to mark and externalize a transition “through” grief. In Mayer’s exhibition, Seep Fields, a curtain of discarded synthetic rubber inner tubes surrounds a series of manganese-saturated ceramic mourning ware that are embedded with fragments of crushed “fine china” she inherited from her family. As Mayer works with this porcelain, it becomes flecks of dust that are scattered, embedded, dispersed, and blown away. Like ash, these tiny particles will never be completely obliterated. Their material properties reflect Mayer’s experience of mourning and the ways in which behavioral, psychological and environmental patterns are passed from one generation to the next. When it comes to mourning our dramatically changing climate, Mayer observes a distinct lack of public, visible protocol. She uses a sculptural investigation of her personal grief as a corollary to understanding and experiencing our global grief. For Mayer, the personal and the planetary are inextricably connected and one will always seep into the other.
On September 28, Mayer will conduct the inaugural State of Ceramics discussion at A-B Projects, a new series of lectures and participatory public conversations about the shifting dynamics of contemporary ceramics. Mayer’s presentation and ensuing discussion will focus upon the intersection of ceramics and grief, and embodied practices of making. This event is free and open to the public.
Anna Mayer’s practice is sculptural and social, with an emphasis on hand-built ceramics. Her methodology emerges from enacting formative site-specific projects in Southern California, an interest in the relationship between speech and consciousness, and extensive engagement with the various social practices and feminist histories of Los Angeles and her current city of residence, Houston, TX. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Adjunct Positions and AWHRHWAR in Los Angeles. Selected exhibitions include Ballroom Marfa (TX), Night Gallery (LA), Galerie Catherine Bastide (BR), Kendall Koppe (UK), Commonwealth & Council (LA), Klaus Von Nichtssagend (NY), Machine Project (LA), Hammer Museum (LA), Luckman Gallery at CalState LA, and Pomona Museum (CA).
In addition to her solo practice, Mayer works with Jemima Wyman as part of the collaborative duo CamLab, which has staged events and exhibited in Los Angeles at MOCA, the Hammer Museum, Armory Center for the Arts, and Wildness at the Silver Platter. In 2017 they received a Fellowship from The Woman’s Building and Metabolic Studio (CA).
Mayer was Assistant Director of the LA-based Institute for Figuring, a “feral organization”, from 2009-2018. She is currently Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Houston.