MAMA Gallery is pleased to present The Drunken Boat, an exciting solo exhibition of work by Berlin-based artist, Myriam Mechita. While her practice is most known for phantasmagorical sculptures and installations, the gallery will be showing 114 of Mechita’s large-scale drawings, which are traditionally the foundation for her three-dimensional works. Separated by monotone shades of blacks and reds in both rooms of the gallery, the exhibition will offer a dual glimpse into an artist exploring the struggle between the mystical and the corporeal.
The title of the show borrows from a 100-line poem by French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud, which describes the drifting and sinking of a poet lost at sea in a fragmented first-person narrative, rife with vivid imagery and symbolism. For Mechita, her entire practice involves a similar disintegrated narrative that combines her own personal mythologies along with deeply theoretical philosophies about art itself. Namely, the theory that a work of art is finished as soon as the artist conjures that work in his or her mind – the finished product is simply the physical evidence of an otherwise fictional vision.
While earning her degree in decorative arts, Mechita developed a strong appreciation for materials. However, it wasn’t until after selling her entire graduate thesis collection to the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art that she moved to New York and started to develop her current approach, which is an amalgamation of introspective practices including shamanism, hypnotism and psychic viewing. Rather than navigating the social climate of the New York art scene, Mechita sequestered herself and developed a psychic mapping of artistic evidence within her own studio.
Mechita’s current works are essentially materialized visions from her hypnotic states. They are visual projections from meditations on more than 100 lives that Mechita has already lived. According to the artist, the honesty of their collective testimony is realized by a process of self-imposed image deprivation. By restricting the bombardment of daily imagery that is ubiquitous in the contemporary age, she is afforded a clearer vision and her works provide proof of authenticity.
Myriam Mechita's The Drunken Boat is the artist's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.