We As Me
We As Me, 2010, a video featured in Family Matters, makes a light-hearted statement on the technological dimension of identity formation. Here, Mayer is less a critic than she is a fan. We As Me presents a pair of slightly disoriented characters: a red girl and a blue girl. They are divided aspects of an electronic self that can be reunited, in theory, by putting on a pair of old-school 3D glasses. It's just a joke, though. With or without the glasses Mayer provided for the exhibition, the two characters eventually find their way into a single image. They merge into a fictional Technicolor version of the artist, who plays herself. Here, again, "Jillian Mayer" is a constructed character, illustrating the fact that identity is fluid, culturally induced, and temporally specific.
- ART PAPERS, Annie Hollingsworth
Growing up under the watchful eye of 1980s television, Jillian Mayer cultivated an acute experience of what it means to receive and interpret information through the filter of a given medium. In her performance We As Me, participants don cumbrous, headache-inducing eyeglasses to watch 3D films. This unnecessary intervention between the natural function of the human eye and the 3D medium creates a physical obstacle that represents the difficulty of translating meaning across individual experiences and technologies. Mayer’s eyeglasses, normally aids that empower seeing and comprehension, produce the opposite effect. As technology evolves and reaches a global audience with increasing rapidity, Mayer’s showdown becomes all the more real. Mayer presents an escalating problem from a humanistic platform, challenging participants to literally see what is in front of them. We As Me poses a trick question. In an era when the chosen solution is commonly more, different, or better technology, sometimes the best answer is d), none of the above.
South Florida Cultural Consortium Exhibition, Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, FL
David Castillo Gallery, Family Matters, Miami, FL