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Choosing what to abandon

Copyright © 2017 Albuquerque Journal

With artwork that looks like it could belong in a history museum, artist Thais Mather looks back at the beginning of humanity and what has been culturally important since then.

Her mixed-media work, inspired by mankind’s evolution over time, with its art and symbols, ranges from resembling something that could have been made by cave people to more modern conceptual pieces. All of it, she says, is meant to encourage the audience to reflect on what’s worth holding on to and what’s not.

“There’s a point we’re coming to as Americans that our privileges are going to run out,” said Mather. “It just doesn’t matter any more. It’s a globalized world, and there’s going to have to be some complete reimagining with how the culture functions and how the global culture functions if we really plan to survive.”

“Plutocracy Press,” made from found objects, is one of Thais Mather’s pieces for the “Reckless Abandon” show.

Mather’s exhibition, “Reckless Abandon,” opens tonight at form & concept. The Santa Fe artist, who comes heavily from a “feminist consciousness,” wants to have an open-ended conversation with viewers about what elements of society aren’t working for everyone and should be abandoned or changed to create a more peaceful global existence – whether it’s the planet itself and humans should consider living on Mars, a problematic presidency, the construct of capitalism or the continual shrinking of America’s middle class.

Despite the issues of today, she says she’s “comforted” by the small role humanity has within the entire landscape of time and space, which makes it easier not to feel controlled by current events or government leaders.

“It’s really just a flash in the pan, and there’s so little that we know,” she said. “That’s what’s really positive. No matter what happens to us, there’s always a process within the universe way beyond the scope of what we can understand.”

The wooden bust “Thaumaturge” will be shown during Thais Mather’s “Reckless Abandon” show.

Though she created all of the works, she rejects the idea of this being a solo exhibition, a concept she refers to as a “farce.” There is no such thing as a solo show for artists who are constantly inspired by the world around them and who want viewers to share how they view the work, rather relying on the artist’s take.

“That’s such a huge part of being an artist, to really listen to what people see in your work,” said Mather. “That’s such an amazing gift that you get as an artist.”

The show runs until Feb. 18. Opening weekend kicks off tonight with a 5 p.m. reception and a Saturday reading with the artist at 2 p.m. Mather is also planning two performance art pieces correlating with the exhibition. One performance is scheduled for Dec. 15 from 5-7 p.m. and another will be in January on a to-be-determined date.

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