Johanna, 2017
Oil on Canvas
48″ x 60″

Johanna II, 2017
Oil on canvas
78″ x 60″

Amy MacKay (b. 1985) is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles. Her work explores issues of group memory, mediation and time. Since earning her BA from Bard College in 2007, her works have been exhibited throughout California and New York, and in 2011 she was a resident fellow at the Vermont Studio Center. Additionally, Amy is one of the founding members of the Bayview Center for Peer Based Learning in San Francisco as well as the collaborative women’s art collective, BGBC, based in Los Angeles. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of California, Irvine.

In this series of paintings, I employed a methodology of staging, documentation, and translation to explore questions of representation, perception and group memory. For the project, I invited nine artists to participate in a durational event (centered around the act of performing a séance) at a local cabin in the San Jacinto Mountains. Serving as both actor and spectator, all participants were tasked with the job of recording the events over the course of a weekend, amassing an overlapping archive of the shared experience. As photographs and video from the beginning of the weekend were physically projected back into the architectural space, the resulting documentation forms a type of “mutual image”, where interior and exterior, actual and virtual, collective and individual compound to the point of indiscernibility. Pulling from the archive of photographic documents, each painting is generated as much through erasure as from additive techniques. With each iteration, the durational narrative becomes emptied out such that what is absent becomes equally as important as what is present. The resulting paintings thus depict a space where the real can exist in two places at once, a space that has not yet fully started or fully ended.