Letters to My Imagination
June 28 - July 28, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, June 28, 6-8pm
A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Letters to My Imagination, an exhibition by Fellowship Artist Macon Reed. Reed will be showing a new body of work including photography and sculpture that reflects on the human imagination as a site for re-envisioning and catharsis in times of crisis. This is Reed’s first solo exhibition in New York City.
Letters to My Imagination is Reed’s first exhibition consisting primarily of photography, created with sculpture and performance in large-scale dioramas. Using her signature bright colors and handmade aesthetic, she employs a theatrical approach to expose how current systems of labor encroach upon workers’ imaginations. Reed’s photographs offer four playful responses to the ways in which the imagination is presently under attack: a brightly colored, multi-layered cave world is (de)constructed; kaleidoscope hands pull a horse named Artax into a swamp; Mean Girl sharks circle among kitchen knives menacingly; and Reed herself destroys a paper mache business suit while being lowered into a diorama by an off-camera pulley.
Drawing from Silvia Federici’s writings on the commons and early capitalism, Reed questions contemporary threats to our sense of collective imagination and shared resources, such as the over-consumption of media, a growing epidemic of loneliness, ubiquitous busyness, and overworking. Through this body of work, she considers how these threats have forced people toward competition and broken down social relations. Understanding the imagination as an emotive, theoretical, and embodied realm of transformation that needs protection, Letters to My Imagination critiques the unsustainability of our current ecologic, economic, and government structures.
Macon Reed is an artist working in sculpture, installation, video, radio documentary, painting, and participatory projects. Her work has shown at venues including PULSE NYC Special Projects, Wattis Center for Contemporary Arts, BRIC Media Arts, ABC No Rio, The Kitchen, Art F City FAGallery, Chicago Cultural Center, Montclair Art Museum, Roots & Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, ICA Baltimore, and Athens Museum of Queer Arts in Greece. Her work has received mention in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Artnet News, CityTV: Santa Monica, The Guardian, Whitewall, Confederezione Nazionale, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, BK Reader, Art F City, Huffington Post, New City Art, and The Observer. Reed completed her MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a University Fellow in 2013 and received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. Additionally, she studied at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, Dah International School for Physical Theater and Voice in Belgrade, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and as a Research Fellow at Eyebeam Center for Art+Technology. Reed is currently a fellow at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn and recently finished a position as a visiting professor at Amherst College.