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Whitehot Recommends: Maya Fuhr: Compersion at SADE Gallery LA

Installation view, Maya Fuhr: Compersion at SADE Gallery LA. Photo by Jeffrey Robins.

Maya Fuhr: Compersion

SADE Gallery

February 14 through March 12, 2023

From the press release: 

With her exhibition Compersion, Maya Fuhr invites us to experience pleasure as a shared sentiment, a form of desire or sustained climax that luxuriates in the porous boundaries between self and other. Originating in the polyamory community, and influenced by the Buddhist concept mudita, compersion refers to vicarious joy experienced through another’s pleasure.

The works here invite the visitor into the folds of shared satisfaction through a series of layered, ripped and wrinkled sculptures and portraits floating from the gallery walls, allowing light and the gaze to penetrate. Fuhr pulls from her own archive of images to create portraits of sex icons and other compersive beings embedded in latex. As a flesh proxy—the substance of shared experience—latex invites both the gaze and physical touch.

Installation view, Maya Fuhr: Compersion at SADE Gallery LA. Photo by Jeffrey Robins. 

Long enjoyed as a fetish material, latex encasements can excite through constructing anonymity, as in classic full-body fetish wear, but Fuhr is more interested here in its elemental qualities. Natural latex seeps from broken or wounded plant stems, a type of chthonian goo. She amplifies and makes use of this viscosity, reminiscent of bodily fluids, and its tactile similarity, when rendered, to both skin and orifice.  

Fuhr describes her fabrication process of making latex sheeting as akin to the sexual practice of edging: building up layers with the peeling-off as the halting climax. In this way, the artist invokes her own narrative of sexual experience alongside those conjured by her subjects. 

Scented with baby powder and accompanied by the ASMR sounds of peeling, the latex pieces of Compersion function as a membrane both delineating and continually negotiating where separate bodies begin and end. WM


Whitehot writes about the best art in the world - founded by artist Noah Becker in 2005. 


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