Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Extending the Body

The other day Batu asked me why I hadn't been around the claylab recently. Actually our paths have just crossed because I've been doing a bit of work around there, just not when he's around.

I told him I've had a lot of interesting thoughts about sculpture and he laughed in his characteristic way, "Yes, that's an existential question!" I've posted here before about the existential connection to clay...


...but to my amazement the question keeps growing. Here's the latest iteration. It goes back to the realization that clay sculpture is an extension of my heart, hands, and brain. Fair enough.

Also fair game is that I've written that I work in a "consciously unconscious" way, which is not necessarily within the "normal" boundaries of making art.

But the new twist is that pieces have been coming out of the kiln looking like body parts! I've had a couple of years of dental problems and I put in a night guard every night to keep me from grinding my teeth. I won't show you a picture of the night guard here (it's kind of gross) but have a look at this piece I just brought home. It's uncanny how much it looks like the night guard or alternatively, the jaw.

Sculpture from Above

My project "The First Billion Years" involves preparing a thousand pieces, each of which represents a million years of evolutionary time. I didn't make these to look like anything but the one pictured below bears an uncanny resemblance to a hand!

Lineup for the First Billion Years

All this ties in I think with questions of problem solving--feeling your way through a problem in the kinesthetic environment of the claylab. So maybe it's a good thing I didn't run into Batu or anyone else. Time to think deeply about existential nature of clay sculpture.

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