Ceramic Mass

In his book Statues Michel Serres calls for a Philosophy of Mass, to supplement the world of things, objects, and subjects who both create and perceive them. The work here echoes this call. Without asking, demanding, or imploring, the constitutional mass of the objects prompts us to question:  What does the earth give forth? How do objects come into being and what is their status?

The Latins called ‘mass’ heap or pile, from the Greek word that signifies the dough that one Kneads before cooking the biscuit, bread or vase individuated.” (Michel Serres, Statues: The Second Book of Foundations)

The individuated works in this series emerge as ceramic mass and pause. They hesitate at the threshold – always almost crossing into order, into their identity as objects, into a realm of compressed meaning where tacit agreement as to their utility is reached. Yet they never quite make it. They don’t entirely stand still but nor do they move… They are individuated yet inseparable somehow from a larger mass. As a result, they affect an incessant questioning: where do they come from, (past) how did they get here (present) and what, if anything, are they destined to become (future)?

Is it art?

The objects have no answer, and instead exist in a state or mode of multi-temporality, where all outcomes or quantum potentialities prevail simultaneously. As Jaques Ranciere has said:

“… this multi-temporality also means a permeability of the boundaries of art. Being a matter of art turns out to be a kind of metamorphic status. The works of the past may fall asleep and cease to be artworks, they may be awakened and take on a new life in various ways. They make thereby for a continuum of metamorphic forms. According to the same logic, common objects may cross the border and enter the realm of artistic combination. They can do so all the more easily in that the artistic and the historic are now linked together, such that each object can be withdrawn from its condition of common use and viewed as a poetic body wearing the traces of its history.”

The objects here are summarily ‘withdrawn’, as poetic body, or as ‘work of art’ or simply ‘work’. They sleep and wake, can be both noticed or ignored, hailed and condemned, silent and loud, still yet paradoxically always moving. They constitute a state of material uncertainty and ambivalence, and that is their beauty, their earthly dwelling, their mineral solidity and their eerie familiarity.