Aria McManus at AA|LA

Artist: Aria McManus

Exhibition title: Relieviation Works

Venue: AALA Gallery, Los Angeles, US

Date: November 11 – December 16, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and AA|LA

AA|LA is pleased to present Relieviation Works, an exhibition of new works by Aria McManus. Drawing on her background in critical product design, McManus probes the intersection of innovation, perception, and utility in contemporary culture.

An interactive office environment serves as the mundane, all-too-familiar setting for the repurposing and enhancement of common, utilitarian objects, such as headsets, staplers, and calendars. In these creations—Chakra Calling, Acustapler, Illuminame, and VitaCal—the objective, one-size-fits-all nature of the office collides with the subjectivity of the body; function meets belief. Along with Personal Growth Lamp and Infinite Filter, the efficacy of these objects depends not only on their design but also on the conviction in their ability to heal. Influenced in part by her own experience with illness, McManus plays with the viewer’s expectations in order to explore the placebo effect and its potential to complicate the notion of utility itself.

Video and wall works expound on the usage of these inventions. McManus manipulates familiar tools of capitalism: Advertisements, commercials, and patent paperwork coalesce around the objects, imbuing them with recognizable markers of authenticity in a culture that values commodification over innovation, and profit over wellbeing. In blurring the line between product and art object, Relieviation Works reconceptualizes the role of value in contemporary art.

Aria McManus (b. 1989, St. Paul, MN) is an artist based in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in various solo and group shows, including at 99 Cent Gallery, Fisher Parrish, Muddgutts, the New Museum (all New York), Ed Varie (Los Angeles), Sunset Drive Gallery (Miami), and Biennale Internationale Design (Saint-Etienne, France). Aria is a founding member of Auto Body, a curatorial collective based in Bellport, Long Island. Relieviation Works is her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Relieviation Works, 2017, exhibition view, AA|LA, Los Angeles

Aria McManus, Chakra Calling, 2017, Headset, quartz, sodalite, lapis lazuli, aventurine, orange calcite, jasper, 12 x 30 x 12 inches

Aria McManus, Chakra Calling Ad, 2017, Inkjet print, lightbox, 23 x 29 inches

Aria McManus, Acustapler, 2017, Stapler, vinyl, plastic, 7.5 x 4 x 1 inches

Aria McManus, Acustapler Ad, 2017, Inkjet print, lightbox, 23 x 29 inches

Aria McManus, Illuminame, 2017, Full spectrum LED light, plastic, electrical cord, 11.5 x 4.5 x 4 inches

Aria McManus, Illuminame Ad, 2017, Inkjet print, lightbox, 22 x 28 inches

Aria McManus, VitaCal, 2017, Potato starch, vegetable oil, vitamins, edible ink, screws, plastic, 4 x 7.5 x 1 inches

Aria McManus, VitaCal Ad, 2017, Inkjet print, lightbox, 23 x 29 inches

Aria McManus, VitaCal Patent Paperwork, 2017, Paper, binder, 8 x 11 x 1 inches

Aria McManus, Personal Growth Lamp, 2017, Indoor plant, grow bulb, extension cord with printed with quote from The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy, 45 x 65 x 45 inches

Aria McManus, Infinite Filter, 2017, Water cooler, Brita filter, plastic, water, 12 x 50.5 x 12 inches

Aria McManus, Acustapler Commercial, 2017, Video, 00:31 seconds

Aria McManus, Illuminame Commercial, 2017, Video, 00:31 seconds

Aria McManus, VitaCal Commercial, 2017, Video, 00:43 seconds

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