NEW SINCERITY 2.0

Crisper Ellert Art Museum / 2022

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Working across film, video, sculpture, painting and performance, Jillian Mayer deploys humor to address monumental issues, such as our complicated relationship to technology, or environmental collapse. Using industrial materials such as glass, epoxy resin, foam, fiberglass, plastic, and metal, Mayer’s work provokes conversations about identity, authenticity, and sincerity regarding our often-perverse engagement with the digital landscape, or what our relationship to the actual landscape might resemble in the absence of a techno-world.

Mayer’s expansive body of work represents a quest to rediscover sincerity in an age where irony reigns, and authenticity seems in short supply. Her forays into mechanisms of exchange such as Fivrr, YouTube, social media platforms, and avatars, spaces where the boundary between fact and fiction is porous, allow for a consideration of what it means to be sincere in a technologically mediated world. Mayer asks some big questions, such as: How might we adapt in the absence of technology? What will our natural spaces look like when we can’t go outside anymore? Is my online identity more real than my in-person identity?

This program is supported by a grant from the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

The artist would like to thank Jenna Efrein, Art Complex, University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, and Robert Castellanos, Bakehouse Art Complex.

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Mayer further reflects on sincerity, both conceptually and materially, through the new sculptures and wall-mounted work included in this exhibition. In 2016-20, Mayer created Slumpies, a series of functional sculptures used to support our bodies as we interface with the digital world. Expanding on themes of digital domesticity, Mayer then has spent the last two years outfitting a trailer as an off-the-grid bunker, an artist-residence-as-sculpture. This work grew from the artist’s research into the prepper subculture’s use of bunkers (how will we live?), as well as ideas about mobility in a world of rising sea levels (where will we go?).

Jet Ski Sculpture

2022

Solar Panels, ATV, resin, fiberglass, foam, hardware, chain, enamel

Mayer’s expands on these ideas with recent sculptures made with foam and epoxy, this time structured over alternative modes of transport that includes a jet ski and a solar-powered cart. Originally built to be useful objects, Mayer revisits them as art objects, as well as relics of obsolescence. Additionally, Mayer has created a new body of work made from kiln-worked fused glass, a material that has come to encapsulate our physical and digital worlds. Much of our reality is not experienced directly, but is mediated through glass, via corrective eyewear, windows, windshields, camera lenses, televisions, phones, and computer screens. Yet there is an inherent fragility and vulnerability to glass, a surface Mayer likens to the superficiality and accessibility of the self to others. As the artist has stated, contemporary social relations are experienced "not in polished squares, but in messy, overlapping, contradictory compositions and various opacities that allow for inconsistent visual access to the world around and within us.” Perhaps this is a more sincere reflection of our current tumultuous, splintered moment.

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Interior Window

2022

Fused Glass, Steel, Silicone, LED

73 x 58 inches 

Solar Powered ATV Sculpture

2022

Solar Panels, ATV, resin, fiberglass, foam, hardware, chain, enamel

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Glass Hanger

2022

Fused Glass, Steel, Silicone, Chain, Wire

120 x 100 inches

Pierced Ceramic Friend Group

2021

Ceramic, Steel, Piercings, Glaze, Chain

73 x 58 inches

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