How can we get a hold of something that’s not there? The navigation of conceptual and formal notions of absence and presence operate as connective tissue throughout Sayer’s practice. Focusing on language and typography through the employment of a variety of media, Sayer aims to challenge signage as a public language coming up against private meaning. Her work resists easy categorization, hovering in a liminal space between sign and sculpture.
Signs are a central theme throughout the exhibition, both materially and conceptually, as something the artist considers to be ubiquitous in all spaces yet simultaneously invisible. You don’t pay much attention to the exit sign in a movie theatre until somebody yells, ‘FIRE!” Using the gallery as the primary point of presentation and entry while considering signifiers as something predisposed within a given institutional space, Sayer looks to question our engagement with art objects on a conceptual level: what is present and what is not? Did we find what we were looking for here? What was that, exactly?
Material engagement collides with spatial awareness to create a pause for ponderance once letters are read and meaning is made. Sayer uses a multiplicity of materials in her interdisciplinary practice to display ‘words on walls’ in an effort to activate a collective experience at the intersection of public and private, of commercial and handmade. In a world where signs live in referential representation of something else, YOUR NAME UP IN LIGHTS is a statement displayed by a sign in service of itself. It advocates ironically, in both language and function, for itself. Somewhere between sardonic and sincere, the artist brings what we know as familiar to an edge.
Sayer Delk (b. 1995) is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. Born in Washington, D.C., she received her BFA in Drawing & Painting from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. She is currently an MFA candidate at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, scheduled to graduate in Spring 2023. Sayer aims to challenge signage as a public language coming up against private meaning. Her work resists easy categorization, hovering in a liminal space between sign and sculpture.