Macon Reed’s work is guided by central concerns around power, queer intersectional feminist frameworks, collective consciousness and belonging. She provides an inclusive platform for exchange through simple and accessible materials and a consistent palette of unapologetically bright colors. Her objects are activated through performance and public participation, creating rituals and discourse around social and political issues. Alongside props and backdrops created for Against DOOM TV, an additional painting connects the history of the plague in Europe to the rise of early capitalism and the current plague in 2020. Her installation of colorful gravestones is meant to inspire action in times of crisis alongside humor and gratitude for life.
Ouija Board (2020)
Painting used as a prop on the set of Against DOOM TV, Episode 1: Abolitionism and Electoral Politics, which features a seance. Watch the short film Oh Wait! You’re Fascism!
Acrylic gouache on paper, 30” x 22”
Love Triangle (2020)
This painting is from the set of Against DOOM TV, Episode 1: Abolitionism and Electoral Politics, which features a mock dating show, the Love Triangle.
Acrylic gouache on paper, 30” x 22”
You, Me, and Us (2020)
You, Me, and Us is a humorous piece that also reflects the existential crisis we are in right now and why we need to be active and fight for what we believe in. Inspired in part by traditions where we are encouraged to meditate on our own deaths in order to be more present and grateful for our lives as we live them, they are a call to action and ask us to stay awake and alert.
These also reference the cemetery scene in the short film Oh Wait! You’re Fascism! and were included to connect that world to this one with sculpture and not just flat space (video/painting).
Cardboard, paper clay, joint compound, latex and acrylic paint, rope, approx. 30-35” x 52”
1347 Meet 2020 (2020)
1347 Meet 2020 addresses the role of plague, or disease, in creating social unrest and structural change. The Bubonic Plague brought considerable change to those who managed to survive, essentially ushering in the transition from Feudalism to early capitalism. HIV/AIDS further unified LBGTQ communities to fight for our liberation and rights. Plague brings with it substantial opportunities for massive change-what that change looks like, and how we respond to it, is up to us.
The massive loss of life and livelihood from COVID-19 has brought many systemic inequalities to light in our own moment. Those who work frontline jobs and do not have the privilege to work at home, as well as those who have the least access to quality healthcare and prevention, are overwhelmingly Black and Brown. Women are losing generations of progress in the workplace as they make hard choices between work and family.
1347 Meet 2020 includes imagery from the Bubonic plague: blood-letting (removing blood from a patient in attempt to remove plague); figures hovering over a latrine (it was believed that plague was contracted by breathing foul odors, so people would circle around latrine pits to breath foul odors on purpose so there wouldn’t be “space” for plague); and a mass grave. This imagery mixes with that of COVID-19: protest signs, body bags, and references to the empty promises of capitalism (a carrot on a stick, hidden money, a game already lost) to bring these two historic periods into conversation.
Acrylic gouache on paper, 30” x 40”
Left: You’re Never Gonna Get That Carrot You Know (2020)
Right: No War But The Class War (2020)
You’re Never Gonna Get That Carrot You Know and No War But The Class War are video stills captured from a work in progress Reed is creating about the connection between work and imagination.
Using blunt and comical references to both work (the carrot on the stick we can never reach, but that keeps us working), The Man (represented by a business suit), and caricatures of punk (Reed’s all black leather appearance in the video), these works are a meditation on how work and busy-ness can distract us from what is really going on in our lives.
Both photos are created with sculptures in a large diorama (8 x 5 x 4 feet). In the video, Reed is lowered onto the suit from above, casually smashing it while lighting a fake cigarette. She then dramatically takes the carrot off the stick and uses it to destroy the paper mache business suit, eventually jumping on it in the image depicted here in No War But The Class War.
Archival pigment prints, 24” x 32”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Macon Reed @macon_reed_studio is a queer multidisciplinary artist. Her work is guided by a set of central concerns around power, collective consciousness and belonging, providing an inclusive platform for exchange. Her work is made using simple and accessible materials, a bright color palette, and allowing the inconsistencies of her hand to show.