Honey And Lightening: Installations & Works By Mandy Greer

Go to Roq La Rue (2312 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA) on January 14th. It will be incredible.

The opening, which will feature the mixed media photography and sculpture of the ever-talented Mandy Greer, the show sees Roq La Rue transformed into a multi-chamber installation. Textiles are sewn, knotted, and manipulated to create divine worlds. Greer has been getting the bulk of her attention around the Pacific Northwest so far — in many ways — but it’s time the world knows about her talents.

These images below are of Greer’s work, of course, but they are not the pieces in the gallery. You’ll have to actually go to see the real deal. (I am screaming in my head as I write this.)

Here’s the artist statement, lifted from Roq La Rue’s website, if you haven’t salivated enough yet:

“Honey and Lightening” is a show of installation chambers, sculptures of talismanic birds and a series of staged photographs all revolving around examining the mercurial nature of human desire. The substances honey and lightening both have literary, mythical and archetypal references to the occurrence and evolution of desire and it’s fading. I see one as the slow ooze of pleasure and the other as the dangerous, uncontrollable and inexplicably instant occurrence of magnetism between two bodies.

Two installation chambers create full body experiences of these ephemeral phenomena and crystallize them in tangible form as a way to signify the human longing for a perfect stasis of experience – which is impossible as emotion begins to degrade, evolve, fold in upon itself after the initial strike.

The Honey Moon chamber is a 10 foot tall mirrored jewelry box spanning 12 feet, enclosing a giant engorged golden chandelier formation encrusted with tens of thousands of gold-colored trinkets – the cheapest of the trashiest materials but representing the purest element from the bowels of the earth that has induced lust to the point of violence since pre-history. This giant mass of gold, as well as the body of the viewer, is reflected infinitely in 35 mirrored panels that create a simultaneously claustrophobic and expansive encounter that memorializes a temporary event. The mythology of honey, a bodily fluid produced from flowers, has long been associated with the ooze of erotic perfection. An ambrosial month of drinking honey-wine has followed the wedding ceremony since the Pharaohs. But locked up in the folklore of this transitional period is that the delirium ends and the state of bliss is forever sought after.

The Cherry Tree Root chamber is, in a way, a reverence to my own experience with Colpo di fulmine — “love at first sight” in Italian, which literally translate to “lightning strike”, and a craving to re-experience a place and time that no longer exists. Recently digging a 16 foot deep foundation hole, my husband and I removed 72 tons of dirt from our property to build a studio, exposing deep and gnarled roots that seems like frozen solidified lightening, long forgotten, dug up by us to lay the foundation for the rooms we hope we’ll die in. The root chamber is like entering this underground world hidden from view of long- ago electric ephemeral desires that have now turned into strong and sturdy roots- not as flashy as lightening but quietly enduring and growing. The roots are battered beautiful twisting accumulations of crocheted scraps of fabric I’ve saved for years, old ropes and remnants of past installations, hand-spun hair, rabbit fur and old clothes, all coated in the dirt from below my family’s foundation.”

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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