THE TARA & RHONDA SHOW! Fully Clothed and Highly Introvertedmakes its Santa Fe debut at form & concept tonight. Come to the gallery at 7 pm for an evening of improvisational performance with New Mexico musicians Tara Khozein and Rhonda Taylor. Make sure to bring a $5-$25 donation in support of the artists.
Khozein and Taylor have performed together once before, for the one-night sound exhibition Lyric Concrete at Radical Abacus in 2015. Here’s an excerpt from Alex De Vore’s write-up on the event for Santa Fe Reporter:
“Often in contemporary classical, it’ll just say that it’s for ‘voice’ or ‘female voice,’ and these newer compositions will focus on what they call extended techniques or mumbles and grumbles or things you could say that metal vocalists have been doing for years,” Khozein says, displaying her self-described crazy eyes. “I’ve been trying not to use the word ‘weird’ to describe this music, because that just seems a little apologetic.”
[…] Let’s get down to brass tacks here, you guys. What is the overall selling point, especially in a town where everyone hates what they don’t know? The selling point is that it’s important to experience some things that exist outside the norm. And while McKissick and Khozein readily admit that Lyric Concrete won’t be for everyone, they’ve both promised a tangible emotional response to the performances.
The same goes for Khozein and Taylor’s daring performance at form & concept tonight! Come hear how both artists have evolved since their last collaboration, and support performing arts in Santa Fe.
The gallery will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$10 in support of the artists.
Thais Mather unites activist and feminist artists for this special holiday event. Todd Ryan White, David Mcmaster, Tim Reed, Ekalos Reed and Niomi Fawn will join Mather to present a series of performance vignettes among the artworks of Reckless Abandon.
Reckless Abandon is Mather’s first major show in Santa Fe, though she hesitates to call it a solo exhibition—at least in a traditional sense. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist, presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce. Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.” she says.
Mather considers the participating performers—and gallery visitors—to be collaborators when they cross the show’s threshold. The exhibition will evolve through these contributions and interactions, inspiring community members to return multiple times and experience new surprises. Inspired by the art movement called magical realism, Mather aims to weave moments of transformation into everyday life.
“I heard her. She was omnipresent, like a shadow drifting over my landscape. My landscape. My body. Our body. Evolution from one microorganism. That we all came from. That we never heard in the beginning.”
Reckless Abandon: Performance is Friday, December 15th from 5-7 pm. Todd Ryan White, David McMaster, Tim Reed, Ekalos Reed and Niomi Fawn will join Thais Mather to present a series of performance vignettes among the artworks of Reckless Abandon. Learn more about the event here, and make sure to RSVP on Facebook.
Thais Mather’s Reckless Abandon is not an exhibition that you would call “on view,” in a passive sense. In fact, it’s a show that views youinmanycases. It unfolds and evolves, pulling viewers and other artists into its orbit in compelling ways. For example, gallery visitors are free to interact with the ceramic masks in Mather’s installation200,000. During the opening reception, there were audible gasps in the crowd as people reached across the platform and plucked faces from the vast field of sculptures. If a visitor decided to acquire a mask, they were allowed to take it with them that evening, leaving a gap in the grid. In this sense, the arrangement of artworks in Reckless Abandon has changed every day since it debuted late last month.
The exhibition will transform yet again on Friday, December 15, when Mather unites feminist and activist artists for a series of performances among the artworks. Todd Ryan White, David Mcmaster, Tim Reed, Ekalos Reed and Niomi Fawn will each add their artistic voices to the show. “I feel like the concept of the male genius artist presenting his solo magnum opus is a Greenbergian farce,” Mather explains. “Everything you create is influenced by other artists, by your mentors, by your relationships, by the music and literature you adore.”
This new paradigm could also redefine the role of the storytellers who have reflected on Reckless Abandon since its opening. Perhaps they too should be considered collaborators, directing channels of the show’s conceptual river in fresh directions. In her review of Reckless Abandon for Pasatiempo, Iris McLister analyzed the show’s sweeping scale and individualized impact:
Feminist and universal, political and primitive, ancient and hyper-contemporary. Alchemical. These are just a handful of words that aptly describe artist Thais Mather’s exhibition Reckless Abandon, now on view at Form & Concept. Though the entirety of the gallery’s cavernous downstairs is filled with her work, the art’s intentionality never seems compromised by its quantity. During a recent tour of the show, Mather said, “I want to make art that will last. It feels really important to me to have the discipline to make things that endure.”
Comprising sculpture, drawing, video art, printmaking, and more, Reckless Abandon could feel sprawling, but instead it’s immersive and intimate. Describing a central theme for the show, Mather wrote in her artist statement, “I’m really contemplating humanity: how culture began, where we are now, and where that might evolve.”
McLister also touched on the show’s highly collaborative ethos:
Mather is transparent about relying on the knowledge and help of others in making this show a reality. Friends and peers, including local artists Sandra Wang, Ron Pokrasso, and Chris Collins, were instrumental in helping Mather learn and execute new techniques. This must partially inform why she doesn’t like what she has called the “farce of the solo show.” For her, the experience of art — whether making it or viewing it — is most rewarding when it’s collaborative in nature.
I’m trying really hard… to not give too much information, because I really think that what viewers perceive in the work is a really valuable asset to the work itself. The one thing that I will say about it is that I deeply researched feminism, and that’s where my background comes from in terms of the theoretical aspect of what I’m interested in.
I find social change important in work, trying to change and challenge my audience and myself… We are learning, we are failing, and sometimes we get it right. Mostly I hope we can think about the rest of the world—not just humanity, but the planet. 200,000 years is a short time within a four-billion-year-old process. I just keep looking and asking, and knowing very little in return. It feels good, so I just keep doing it.
On a similar note, Eliza Lutz of Matron Records talked about the show’s ability to inspire across mediums and disciplines in the record label’s December newsletter:
Though Matron Records is clearly an entity with music front and center, we are constantly exploring the many ties between various disciplines and perspectives, ranging in everything from sound and design to performance art and printmaking to storytelling and feminism. Reckless Abandon, the multi-discipline exhibition by Mather featuring hundreds of artworks, navigates the space between these ideas, dismantling traditional & patriarchal art narratives to create a show that re-imagines human history and what it might become.
Given the current political climate, with a recent resurgence of the #MeToo campaign setting the tone for a radical cultural shift in many male-dominated fields, Reckless Abandon could not come at a better time. The immense body of work and interconnected series of performances and events tackle the full weight of the past and present while still offering a magic and radical vision for the future. “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.”
form & concept’s Broken Boxes exhibition, curated by Ginger Dunnill and Cannupa Hanska Luger and featuring 40 activist artists, has received some stellar press in the past few weeks. Look below for quotes and links, and make sure to attend tomorrow evening’s Broken Boxes Catalog Release Event(9/29, 5-7 pm). The evening includes public engagement by participating artists Demian DinéYazhi’ and JESS X SNOW, a film screening of AFTER EARTH directed by JESS X SNOW, and a performance of 1000 Tiny Mirrors, a collaborative experimental trans*/queer rock project presented by Frexy.
“When it comes to art and activism, finding the necessary questions can be as difficult—and as messy—as searching for answers. This exhibition asks visitors to take time to engage in that messy work alongside the artists.”
–Stacy Pratt, First American Art Magazine
form & concept hosts a new performance piece by local art group Victory Grrrls on Saturday, February 11 at 3:00 pm. The performance takes place the day after form & concept’s WISC Fellowship Presentation on Judy Chicago by Chad Alligood. Playing on feminist themes that Chicago has explored throughout her career, local artists Niomi Fawn, Thais Mather and Lucy Madeline will illuminate the continued vitality of the powerful social movement that was bolstered by Chicago’s artworks and activism. The gallery will accept a sliding scale donation of $5-$10 in support of the artists.