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© 2014 by Maya Kramer. Created with Wix.com

1/8

Preserved I, Preserved II and Piecemeal

2018

Mixed Media

169 × 64.5 × 185 cm, 200 × 67.2 × 134.2 cm and

Dimensions Variable 

 

The gallery ceiling is lowered, covered in white cardboard with portions spray-painted to conjure a cheap version of the sky. Two stylized sculptures sit in the space, reminiscent of the circulatory system of a human torso and a leg, they are hooked up to compressors with refrigerant and to timers. The sculptures alternate states depending on the timers, ice grows on the copper pipes -- it freezes and thickens over time—when the timers stop they melt.  

 

The compressed ceiling engenders anxiety and cheap, haphazard ceiling covering it implies a temporary fix for a deeper problem.  The body-like forms tethered to the machines, conjure the idea of life support, and the rapid and repeated change from ice to water dramatize climate shift. The emptiness in the work along with the slightly off approximation of ‘natural’ forms and states, gives the piece an uncanny air. 

1/8

There is Nothing You Can Measure Anymore

2010

Laundry Detergent, Vitrine, Blacklight, Pump

94 x 70 x 170 cm

 

 

Seemingly floating as a 3-D x-ray, a tiger skull cast from laundry detergent sits in a one-way mirror vitrine as water slowly drips on the skull until it crumbles.  Symbolically and materially, the work alludes to environmental degradation—tigers are powerful animals driven to the brink of extinction by human excesses.   Phosphorus is an everyday pollutant found in laundry detergent, and x-rays identify and diagnose underlying problems. Yet the skull’s disintegration also indicates that entropy and dissolution are immutable processes.

 

In addition to the ephemeral work in the vitrine, six photographs document this process. Three horizontal and three vertical shots of the piece show the tiger skull before, in the midst of, and at the end of its disintegration.  The photographs are printed as transparencies and mounted on LED panels.

1/5

There is No Logic to the Days

2007-2009

Mixed Media

Dimensions Variable

 

 

A defunct spiral staircase sits in a jungle made from the The New York Times; it, in turn, is in a room covered with quotes randomly selected from the newspaper used to construct the plants. The work contests the notion that humans can transcend disorder and decay, and instead reiterates the cyclical nature of existence.

 

If staircases imply progress, this broken one indicates the inability to escape to an alterior idealized reality. In making the plants, the silhouette of the leaf has been cut out of the newspaper, creating a sense of absence.  Using newspaper for the plants has a two-fold function: to document the changing nature of experience, and to reinforce re-occurrence as plant material made into the newspaper transforms back into 'plants'.  Additionally, sentences extracted from the newspaper are randomly printed on the walls.  The text emulates the vast and often contradictory database of experience that makes up our daily lives.   

   

 

 

 

Empire Violet, 2018, 71.2 × 31.6 × 36.3 cm 

Lemon Scented Demise, 2018, 145 × 48.2 × 39 cm

Twilight Ramblers, 2017, 135 × 115 × 41.5 cm

History isn’t Natural, 2016, 100 x 140 x  53.8 cm

Acrylic Paint, Aluminum, Ammonium, Copper, Hydrochloric Acid, Ink, Iron, Resin, Xuan Paper, Plexiglass, Wire, Wood

 

Leaves cast out of iron and copper are chemically treated with acids and alkalis until they exhibit the hues of the fall season or until the display aberrant hues that give them a toxic tinge.  They are then arranged in formations that simulate being blown by the wind.  Various colored and textured backgrounds set them off and each piece is framed in a plexiglass encasement, which lends the works a removed, anthropological air. Delicate and finely detailed, the sense of transience in the pieces is heightened by the corrosion in their making, and the works underscore the inevitability of dissolution for organic and inorganic, fragile and formidable materials alike.  

   

 

1/7

Against the Wind

Works from Left to Right: Wish Cast in Midnight, 

Small Songs for Subtle Spirits, Stumpted, 

Against the Wind

 

In Against the Wind four delicate works depicting natural imagery such as feathers and branches are rendered from the dense and polluting material coal. On a coal tree branch sits a nest made from discarded threads; inside the nest is a golden wishbone.  In acrylic boxes coal feathers are arranged into disparate tableaux; in one feathers float around each other in a playful manner, while in the other they slice the negative space with an agitated rhythm. Another coal branch suspended from the wall has tied itself into knots.

 

As an ensemble, these pieces explore humanity’s conflicted physical and psychological engagement with the natural world. States of lightness and density, hope and despair, and the natural and artificial are explicated, expressing our symbiotic but strained relationship to our environment. 

1/5

!Acirema, 2015, 123 x 84 x x 2.6 cm

Interference Pattern No. 1, 2012, 121 x 183 cm

Chicago on Fire, 2013. 52 x 71 cm

Coal Dust, Crystal, Ink, Gold and Silver Leaf, Pigment and Paint on Aluminum 

 

!Acrimera, renders the US and its cities as seen from outer space on a jagged background of coal.  Deep blues and purples indicate the landmass, whereas gold and silver leaf give form to the urban centers.  In Interference Pattern No. 1, three thousand fake diamonds are embedded into a background made of coal dust emulating the stars in the night sky. Superimposed on this image is a faint rendering of the world’s lights at night as seen from outer space. Similarly, in Chicago on Fire, the lights of this city, rendered in gold and silver leaf dwarf the brightness of the crystals embedded in the coal background. Manmade and natural illumination stand in contrast to one another. The works investigate energy consumption, light pollution and the waning visibility of the night sky. 

1/6

From Where it Springs

2009

Recycled Wood, Bricks, Magazines, Trash, Computer, Speakers, Microphone

Dimensions Variable

 

 

This large-scale interactive installation consists of six life-sized trees made from recycled plywood covered in paper waste: magazines, product packaging etc.  On the floor lays a carpet of salvaged bricks, and in the middle of the room stands a wishing well on a tiered platform.  Here, viewers can speak their wishes in the well, and their wishes are recorded by a computer.  Subsequently, the computer selects wishes at random and then reiterates them to the viewer via speakers mounted in the trees.

 

This work unearths the tensions within our wishes –yearnings that both conform to and contradict the projections promulgated by the advertising industry.  In this quasi fairytale like setting, viewers can consider whether their desires are reflected by the larger cultural sphere, and if not, they can imagine a world where those two realities are in sync.

  

1/6

Providence/Entropy, 2014, 153.8 x 46.8 cm

Slow Swirl, 2017, 81.6 × 74.8 × 127.5 cm

A Hard Rain, 2013, 140 x 82 x 82 cm

Aluminum, Coal, Magnets, Paint, Plexiglass, Resin, Wire, Wood

 

Bird feathers cast from coal are arranged in various tableau along the wall.  Feathers imply flight, yet the dense material from which the piece is made contradicts their symbolism. The coal is seductive with its dark and glittering properties but as carbon emissions are a threat to the environment the work also harbors a sense of menace.

  

1/8

Corroded Flows II, 2018 , Rust, Glue, Plaster, Ink, Wood, 70 x 44.5  cm

Apparition, 2018, Carbon Paper, Ink, Xuan, 69 x 44 cm

Crosswinds, 2017, Acrylic, Aluminum Board, Coal, Paper, 90 × 66 × 10 cm

Cascade, 2017, Acrylic, Aluminum Board, Coal, Paper, 90 × 66 × 10 cm

 

An image of the heart/circulatory system is depicted using two distinct materialities. Rust powder and fragments against a dry, fractured and pale mosaic in the first rendition are in contrast to the carbon paper traced outlines in the second. They each take on alternative associations, ghostly or rootlike, depending on the materiality used. 

 

In Crosswinds and Cascade, silhouettes of hawks have been cut out of panels, with the panels’ backs painted using fluorescent pigment.  Hung at a distance from the wall, the fluorescence reflects from behind to cast an eerie glow through the negative spaces.  If one takes the palimpsest as a foundation, to cut out in some ways enacts loss, while at the same time it reverses the figure/ground relationship to make absence the subject.  

 

 

1/4

Flashpoint, 2018, Aluminum ,146.6 × 58.7 × 29.5 cm, 63.5 × 32 × 20 cm 

Bound, 2014, Coal, Silicone, Wire, 100 x 138 x 80 cm

Closed Circuit, 2018, Silicone, Coal, Wire, 55 x 34 x 27 cm

 

Tree branches have been recast and manipulated to augment their perception. In Bound, 2014, and Closed Circuit, 2018, branches are cast of out coal and tied into knots or fused into continuous loops.  In Flashpoint, an ashen, truncated, small tree, is incomprehensibly suspended through the gallery wall.  The reconfiguration of these forms, into twisted and improbable shapes, touches on the way humans have altered nature and the paradigms we are establishing for the future.

  

1/2

Grey Zone

2018

Aluminum, Enamel, Plexiglass, Pump, Fans, Water

70 x 100.5 x 15.5 cm

 

A window is installed on the wall. It doesn’t offer a vista, rather it frames a grey background and behind the glass raindrops continually fall. Subtle and foreboding it links weather with emotional states and is simultaneously disconcerting and soothing

  

1/5

The View from Yesterday

Maps, stereoscopes, wood, photographs, polyeurathane

2009-2010

75 x 165 cm

 

Commissioned by OV gallery for their Makeover exhibition, The View from Yesterday addresses Shanghai’s preparations for the city’s 2010 World Expo. Two stereoscopes hang from the ceiling with juxtaposing images: one of the now desolate former New York City World’s Fair site, the other of the then under construction Shanghai Expo site. Art Deco tiles, made out of Shanghai maps from various points in the city’s history lay on the floor, linking the two contraptions.

 

Stereoscopic technology gained notoriety at London’s 1851 World Fair, a time when Modernist ideals of technological advancement, progress and the unity of mankind infiltrated various cultures. Juxtaposing the now abandoned New York site with the then forthcoming Shanghai site deconstructs the progressive Expo rhetoric.  As the tiles showcasing snippets of Shanghai’s history suggests, Shanghai’s current rapid development, in the end, will be just another chapter the city’s ongoing history. 

1/5

Sugar Spy

2010

Performance, materials variable

Duration variable

Commissioned by the Van Abbe Museum and Art Hub Asia for their Double Infinity exhibition during the 2010 Shanghai Expo

 

For the Double Infinity exhibition, the organizers exhibited works from the Van Abbe’s collection containing utopian themes, and commissioned artists to create new works that engaged their selection. To counteract the promotional rhetoric underlying Expo and Double Infinity, the artist collaborated with a traditional Chinese candy maker to reproduce pieces in the Van Abbe’s collection that contain darker content and were not selected. Works such as Bruce Nauman’s Eat/Death and Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair that address death, sexuality and other ‘negative’ topics were made in candy and distributed to viewers.  Thus the performance playfully broaches these taboo topics and invites viewers to embrace ‘darkness’ as rich and necessary aspects of experience.

  

1/6

A New History of Diamonds

2011

Print on Paper

9 x 22.7 cm

NHD 1000, Ed/10, NHD 500 Ed/25, NHD 100 Ed/100

 

A New History of Diamonds, attemps to reorient the value of money away from the exchange of goods and services and towards a valuation of mental and emotional states. This homeade currency, can be purchased as individual prints, or can be ‘earned’ by e-mailing something beautiful to nhdiamonds@gmail. com.  If accepted, the participant receives a limited edition currency note, and the sender’s contribution will be included in future exhibitions of this project.