Dylan Mira  A Woman Is Not A Woman  2015

Dylan Mira A Woman Is Not A Woman 2015


ArtForum Critic's Picks 2015

A perfectly sculpted, slightly larger-than-life-sized head of yellow salted butter with the exact face of the artist, including eyebrows, lashes and her hair's part carved precisely down a yellowed scalp is what greeted visitors at the opening of As Above So Below Zero Zero Zero. Butterface (2015) is Mira's exact, oleaginous likeness, eyes serenely closed with a slight smile, served up with various loaves of artisanal bread and knives, encouraging viewers to partake. The piece blurs artist and viewer, as visitors literally consume her, while problematizing art's easy consumption. Popular culture's misogynyst reference to the fuckability of women ("but her face"), questions of race, and the performativity of decomposing things–– all this plays about the piece in tides of swelling, conflicted possibility.

Mira's practice radically multiplies meaning to both resist and critique conventional forms of narrative, the stories they make possible, and those that insist on telling them. Her video, A Woman is Not A Woman (2015), threads together elements as seemingly disparate as the silence of the little mermaid, the beheading of a mermaid statue, women divers of Korea's Jeju province, and a mother's advice on maintaining firm facial skin, opening out links between them that disturb as much as they connect. Frames interrupt and obstruct other frames, numbers fall in and out of sequence, what we see diverges constantly from what we hear, and Google fails to translate but instead produces poetics. This is Mira's world of pleasure and proliferation: the deliberate dismantling of conventional signs and their elements that makes space for meanings and beings that remain yet to come.