Michelle Mayer

Open House
Sat Jan 8, 2005 - Fri Feb 11, 2005

Come home to Women & Their Work and experience Open House, a re-envisioning of the gallery as a contemporary American home. Michelle Mayer combined video installation, photography, and painting to create a living space where ideas of the home – and the homeland – can commingle and interact. How might a house be opened? It invites you in. Is it merely exposed, or is it open season?

From Mayer’s statement:

A frame is a form of being- a belief of a version of reality. A frame creates the structure of a house. I have created this house open- like its frame.  It is not any one’s house; rather it is a piece of the collective consciousness of the American Dream house. It has the elements and essences of what one might imagine a house would look or feel like- yet it is more closely a mask of a home that the gallery is wearing.

At first glance it is a convincing (if not welcoming) rendition. This space is a surface filled with nested surfaces. The surface of the house, as well as the surface of the individual works within the house, draws you into a space of comfort with their direct message, but there is something more that calls you to stay engaged.  The surface is purposefully beautiful but does not deny your ability to look beyond or through it.

I aim to seduce the viewer into this dream of a home, like a reverse Trojan horse. Once you are inside, the spaces envelop you into more of a nightmare that begs you to wake up. In my work, I address that moment of wakeful reflection that is so often lost in the smoke and mirrors of the mass media reality.

In these recent works, I try to use the familiar to draw you in and then twist it to reveal the hidden structures of anxiety that have become the unstable foundation of our time.