Last Look: Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Installation view of Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon. Photo by Kara Duval.

As Thais Mather’s critically acclaimed solo exhibition Reckless Abandon approaches its closing date, join her for a final public engagement on Friday, February 2 from 5 to 7 pm. The Magazine just published a fantastic review of the show by Diane Armitage in their February/March relaunch issue. Here’s an excerpt:

There are many threads to follow in Reckless Abandon: from images of Stone Age fertility goddesses; to the Walpurgisnacht, or Witches’ Sabbath, a performance of hellish and deafening heavy metal music played in a cave-like room and accompanying a video of fire projected on a large bowl of water; to the life-size wooden figure of a woman burnt from head to toe. This latter sculpture, Mine and Thine, along with the charred bust Thaumaturge, (a miracle worker or a magician), are the two most powerful works in Mather’s exhibition. The presence of the blackened figure, laid out as if on a burial slab, sucks all the energy out of the room it was installed in, just as it was intended to do. It’s a timeless reminder that women, along with men, are due for a ritual funeral pyre whereby the darkest aspects of our collective history are dematerialized and transformed into a more enlightened chapter of human behavior in the evolution of consciousness. How else can the phoenix rise from the oppressive ashes of history and say, “I can just leave you… Now I can just fly away”?

Read the rest of the review here, and come see Reckless Abandon at the closing reception tonight. The exhibition officially ends on February 10.

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP for the closing reception on Facebook.

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Show- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Thais Mather- Reckless Abandon Exhibition- Diane Armitage Review- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Photos by Kara Duval. Browse Thais Mather’s artwork here.

Closing Reception: Thais Mather | Reckless Abandon

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As Thais Mather’s critically acclaimed solo exhibition Reckless Abandon approaches its closing date, join her for a final public engagement on Friday, February 2 from 5 to 7 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Reckless Abandon runs through February 10, 2018.

“I think people are getting these catastrophic feelings, that this is the end,” says Thais Mather. “I don’t believe in that. I think this is a beginning.” The feminist artist’s new exhibition, Reckless Abandon, comes at a time of cultural, political and environmental upheaval. It’s an ideal moment to examine human history from a revolutionary stance—and present urgent questions that can reveal a new path forward. Through a monumental art installation and an interconnected series of performances and events, Mather will challenge viewers to abandon patriarchal structures in favor of a transcendent vision for humanity.

Learn more about this exhibition.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance | Saturday, January 20, 7 am-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Closing Reception | Friday, February 2, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

THIS SATURDAY: A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Visual Preview

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance

In conjunction with Thais Mather’s exhibition Reckless Abandon,
and featuring Ekalos Reed, Áine McCarthy & Kara Duval

Saturday, January 20, 7 am-7pm

7 am-7 pm: Ekalos Reed & Áine McCarthy, “Tending the Mighty Dead”
4:30-6:30 pm: Kara Duval, “RED”
6-7 pm: Closing Ceremony

Please note: From 7 to 10 am, the performance will be visible from outside form & concept, but the gallery does not open to the public until 10 am.

Sequence of Events

The public is invited to attend the event at anytime and for any duration from 10 am to 7 pm to watch, write a prayer, ring a bell, offer a flower, meditate or engage in some other respectful way with the ritual.

“Tending the Mighty Dead”

Áine McCarthy & Ekalos Reed

7am- 7pm

Áine McCarthy and Ekalos Reed perform “Tending the Mighty Dead” a 12 hour ritual prayer to embody the remembrance of our killed ancestors (women and others) and to invite their wisdom to take root in our individual and collective flesh, bones, and blood. “In ancient times Art was not separate from Healing,” says Reed. “In this spirit we offer ourselves in movement for twelve hours to see clearly the injustice and feel clearly the pain. In doing this we create a space for wisdom and strength to return to us.” The ritual will include a soundscape of present-day field recordings from places here in New Mexico and far away that have historical significance to the project. Bearing witness in ourselves and in places where injustices have occured is part of the healing process and helps tend the ground to grow new creative and healthy lifeways.

“RED”

Kara Duval

4:30 – 6:30pm

Kara Duval performs “RED”, a reintegrating ritual that snakes its way through the exhibit in search of reclamation. The set for ‘Red’ consists of over 300 ft of red fabric that is woven through the art works in the gallery. Duval traverses the fabric, symbolizing the long journey often taken to return home to the body after experiencing trauma. Movement is one of the first expressions restricted when a person or a people have gone through trauma. RED is about the movement to return home to the body and recognizing its inherent wholeness. Duval uses dance and story to reconnect and heal the fabric of her individual and collective histories. She uses an audio tapestry of women’s personal stories revolving around shame, abuse, and trauma as a sound score to her journey.

Closing Ceremony

Various artists

6:00-7:00 pm

Reed, McCarthy and Duval are joined by additional performers to complete the closing ceremony.

Learn more about this event.
RSVP on Facebook.

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Click here to learn more about this event.

Images 

1, 3 & 5: Ekalos Reed & Áine McCarthy, “Tending the Mighty Dead,” durational performance piece, 2018. Photo by Timothy Jason Reed.

2, 4 & 6: Kara Duval, “RED,” durational performance piece, 2018. Photo by Kara Duval.

 

Preview: Jodi Colella | Unidentified Women

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

It started somewhere among the vast archives of the Historic Northampton Museum in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fiber artist Jodi Colella was working on an art project inspired by the museum’s headwear collection, and she stumbled upon a series of daguerreotype portraits. “They were like little 18th and 19th century selfies,” Colella says. “I noticed that all the men in the images had every single detail of their life listed in the catalog. About 80% of the women were labeled ‘unidentified.’” The artist was fascinated by these forgotten, female faces, and the contrast between the women’s fleeting social visibility and their invisibility to history. After hunting down similar portraits in flea markets and antique shops, Colella stitched intricate embroideries across the images, further obscuring the women’s identities. The body of work, titled Unidentified Women, makes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept on Friday, January 26 from 5-7 pm. Colella will appear at the opening reception, and also conduct an artist talk on Thursday, January 25 from 2-3 pm.

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“In the end, these women were lost,” Colella says. “I think of it as lost lives and labor. By using labor that’s often culturally identified as feminine, I wanted to bring out their identities.” She first exhibited the Unidentified Women embroideries in 2016 at the Historic Northampton Museum, along with a series of wearable sculptures that referenced the history of women’s headwear. Both projects centered on the cultural interplay between conformity and individuality, personhood and objectification. The works examine ways that gender, race, social status and economic power has dictated who was recorded—and how they were presented—through history. “In many of the images, the women are hiding or being hidden in some way—but they’re also being shown,” Colella says. “So it’s that tension between showing that they’ve been hidden and celebrating their visibility.”

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Colella grew up in Massachusetts, in a family of artists and craftspeople. As a child, she developed a passion for knitting, embroidery and other fiber arts. After completing a certificate program for graphic design at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, she launched a successful career as a designer that spanned nearly two decades. In 2000, she took a break to focus on fine art, and never went back. Colella has since exhibited her fiber artwork across the nation, including in the Surface Design Association’s international juried exhibition Shifting Landscapes at form & concept in February, 2017.

Artist Jodi Colella- Unidentified Women Exhibition- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“For Shifting Landscapes, we showed two of Jodi’s China Samplers, which are meticulous embroideries on Mao propaganda magazines from the 1960’s,” says Frank Rose, Gallery Director of form & concept. “In that work and in Unidentified Women, she’s bringing complex realities of the past to light with compassionate attention and incredible skill. These artworks can help us understand how we’ve arrived at our present cultural and political moment.” Unidentified Women will appear on form & concept’s staircase and catwalk. The original set of 16 embroideries, measuring 2 x 3 inches, will appear with a never-before-seen series of larger works from the ongoing series. “After the project at the museum, I knew I wasn’t done with the daguerreotypes,” says Colella. “There’s a poignancy to these images that has kept me working. These are women I don’t know, no one knows them anymore, but I’ve found a way to meet them again.”

Learn more about this exhibition.
RSVP on Facebook.

Preview: A Day of Ritual Prayer Performance.

Tending The Mighty Dead- Performance Art- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

“I find that people are really hungering for ritual and prayer, and not in a traditional, religious way,” says Ekalos Reed. Reed and Áine McCarthy’s performance art group is called Time Beings. On Saturday, January 20, they collaborate with Kara Duval—another local performer who explores themes of ritual, reclamation and healing—for a 12-hour performance among the artworks of form & concept’s exhibition Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon. In the multi-part ritual prayer, they will convene other Santa Fe artists and anyone who wishes to take part as they create moments and spaces that redefine the sacred. The piece represents a dynamic response to the exhibition’s themes and a tribute to women and others who have faced persecution. 

“I met with Thais about the possibility of a performance in the Reckless Abandon show about two weeks before it opened, and Thais recommended Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch to me,” says Reed. Federici’s work of literary nonfiction examines the European witch trials from the 16th to 18th centuries, and explores how that history has influenced cultural conceptions of the body in the transition to capitalism. “The book just tied together so many loose threads in my mind and existence,” Reed explains. “Seeing Thais’ work and reading that book at the same time contributed to my feeling that we needed to make a long ritual piece.”  

Red- Performance Art- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Reed and McCarthy have collaborated a number of times under the moniker Time Beings. Through their durational performance artworks, they seek to create moments and spaces that redefine the sacred. It’s an endeavor that takes time: Time Beings’ performances often last hours, and are designed to be viewed for any duration. Reed is a veteran performer who has toured the world with Martha Graham Dance Company, Pearl Lang Dance Theatre, Moving People Dance, Catherine Cabeen and Company, and Robert Wood Dance NY, among others. McCarthy studied Delicious Movement with Eiko Otake of the renowned ‘Eiko and Komo’. Time Beings’ most recent work appeared at the 2017 AHA Festival of Progressive Arts in Santa Fe, which was an 8-hour performance. “At AHA, we invited people to ring a bell or hang a prayer in our booth,” says Reed. “So many people did their own little ritual. When you enter that moment, your experience of time and space starts to change. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Duval’s ‘Red’ is a visceral engagement with these themes. “Art and ritual is a form of currency that frees us from the confines of efficiency and the machine of consumerism.” says Duval, “It allows us to enter into relationship with the sublime.” The set for ‘Red’ consists of over 300 ft of red fabric that is woven through the artworks in the gallery. Duval traverses the fabric, symbolizing the long journey often taken to return home to the body after experiencing trauma. “‘Red’ is about physically putting myself on the ground, listening to it and feeling it’s pulse and waking up the visceral fluid experience,” Says Duval. “I am often reminded of a Mary Oliver poem called the ‘The Forest’ about a snake molting its skin in the dark of the night. It inches over dead leaves and branches, pulling its old skin off. It does not know why it does this and yet it is compelled to do so.”

Tending The Mighty Dead- Performance Art- Ekalos Reed- Aine McCarthy- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Reed, McCarthy’s, and Duval’s new work at form & concept will engage gallery visitors in various ways throughout the day.  “If you’re compelled to watch or join in, you’ll experience your own beginning, middle and end no matter how long you stay,” says Reed. “A big part of it is about bearing witness to things that have happened that are uncomfortable or traumatic. There’s no way we can fix that or say that it didn’t happen, but being there and bearing witness is the beginning of healing.”

Reed and McCarthy perform ‘Tending the Mighty Dead’ from 7 am to 7 pm. Duval performs ‘Red’ from 4:30- 6:30 pm. There is a closing ceremony from 6- 7 pm. From 7 to 10 am, the performance will be visible from outside form & concept, but the gallery does not open to the public until 10 am. Click here for additional information on the sequence of events. 

Learn more about this event.
RSVP on Facebook.

Red- Performance Art- Kara Duval- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico

Images

1 & 3: Ekalos Reed & Áine McCarthy, “Tending the Mighty Dead,” durational performance piece, 2018. Photo by Timothy Jason Reed. Pictured artworks by Thais Mather.

2 & 4: Kara Duval, “Red,” durational performance piece, 2018. Photo by Kara Duval. Pictured artworks by Thais Mather.

Reckless Abandon: A Reading

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At this special event, Thais Mather will read excerpts from writings that span two years of her creative process, which culminated in the body of work for Reckless Abandon.

“I’m really contemplating humanity: how culture began, where we are now, and where that might evolve,” says Mather. Reckless Abandon comprises hundreds of artworks that will fill form & concept’s ground floor, tracing thousands of years of natural and human history.

Reckless Abandon opens at form & concept on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm, and runs through February 10, 2018.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Part of the proceeds from Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon will benefit the ACLU of New Mexico and the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter

Opening | Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon

RSVP on Facebook.

“I think people are getting these catastrophic feelings, that this is the end,” says Thais Mather. “I don’t believe in that. I think this is a beginning.” The feminist artist’s new exhibition, Reckless Abandon, comes at a time of cultural, political and environmental upheaval. It’s an ideal moment to examine human history from a revolutionary stance—and present urgent questions that can reveal a new path forward. Through a monumental art installation and an interconnected series of performances and events, Mather will challenge viewers to abandon patriarchal structures in favor of a transcendent vision for humanity. Reckless Abandon opens at form & concept on Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm, and runs through February 10, 2018.

Reckless Abandon Events

Opening Reception | Friday, November 24, 2017 from 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: A Reading | Saturday, November 25, 2-3 pm — RSVP on Facebook
Reckless Abandon: Performance | Friday, December 15, 5-7 pm — RSVP on Facebook

Learn more about this exhibition.

Part of the proceeds from Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon will benefit the ACLU of New Mexico and the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter

Press | Thais Mather: Reckless Abandon

Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon opens TONIGHT from 5-7 pm—with a reading from 2-3 pm on Saturday—and the artist has been hard at work installing the show and engaging the press in a conversation about art, history and feminism. Watch the latest clip from our video preview series above, and check out links to press about Reckless Abandon below.

Thais Mather Artist- Reckless Abandon- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Mine and Thine (detail), 2017, 5′ 3″ x 20″ x 10″, Shou Sugi Ban.

Alex De Vore of Santa Fe Reporter talked to Thais for this week’s Three Questions feature. From his intro:

It’s not every day that a gallery as spacious as the Railyard’s form & concept opens up an entire floor to just one artist, but Santa Fe’s Thais Mather has a massive body of multi-disciplinary work and a whole hell of a lot to say. With Reckless Abandon, Mather examines the ideas of humanity, feminism, activism, the end of days and so much more through visual works, collaborative performance pieces and readings.

Thais Mather Artist- Reckless Abandon- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, 200,000, 2017, ceramic, ~ 3 x 3 in. each.

Megan Bennett of Albuquerque Journal North wrote an awesome preview of the exhibition. A little excerpt:

[Mather’s] mixed-media work, inspired by mankind’s evolution over time, with its art and symbols, ranges from resembling something that could have been made by cave people to more modern conceptual pieces. All of it, she says, is meant to encourage the audience to reflect on what’s worth holding on to and what’s not.

“There’s a point we’re coming to as Americans that our privileges are going to run out,” said Mather. “It just doesn’t matter any more. It’s a globalized world, and there’s going to have to be some complete reimagining with how the culture functions and how the global culture functions if we really plan to survive.”

Kathryn Davis interviewed Thais among the artworks of Reckless Abandon for her media platform ArtBeat Santa Fe:

Emily Van Cleve of Santa Fe Arts Journal wrote up the show earlier this week in an article aptly title A Vision for Humanity. Here’s a blurb:

Mather describes the process of making art as her product. “The show was birthed as an exploration of material and self, with the self as material and the material as self,” she adds. “I pushed the limits of what I knew but tried not to manipulate any material beyond what it was teaching me. So I worked with clay and let the clay converse with me. I worked in watercolor and we talked and didn’t fight. I just spent time and got lost and found in the process.”

Click here to learn more about Reckless Abandon, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook for updates. We’ll see you tonight from 5-7 pm! Our shows Smitten Forum and MICROCOSM Small Works Invitational also debut this evening.

Thais Mather Artist- Reckless Abandon- Form and Concept Gallery- Santa Fe New Mexico
Thais Mather, Mine and Thine, watercolor and pen and ink, 33 x 53 in.