Welcome to NewsFile, your bi-weekly roundup of the latest newsy happenings and tidbits from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. Leading the headlines in this edition is a project from a reality TV star, rare gems and subversive pots and sculptures, but first we wanted to share with you a ghostly mob (our featured image) protesting the G20 Summit in early July.
Crusty Figures Perform for a Better World
1,000 protestors from German collective 1000 GASTALTEN doused themselves with slip in a two-hour cavalcade performance in Hamburg. The performance art strived to urge Germany and the world to fight for more humanity and self-responsibility
The crusted figures are supposed to stand for a society that has lost faith in solidarity and in which the individual struggles only for his own advance. In the course of the performance, they took off their gray costumes, including their colorful T-shirts. In this way they liberated themselves symbolically from their rigid structures.
DesignBoom spoke with a spokesperson from the collective, who further explained the group’s mission:
‘We cannot wait until change happens from the world’s most powerful, we have to show political and social responsibility – all of us – now! We want to put back in memory how compassion and public spirit conveys identity for a society. Our campaign is a further symbol for the fact that many people do not want to put up with the destructive impact of capitalism any longer. What will save us in the end is not our account balance but someone who will offer their holding hand’.
Watch the video of the event here:
Ceramic Star to Open Firm in Derelict Spode Factory
Star of BBC’s Great Pottery Throwdown, Keith Brymer Jones, an internationally-acclaimed master potter and designer, is behind a new porcelain factory to be based in part of the Spode pottery works, the UK’s oldest ceramics factory.
Jones tells the BBC the factory will be an economic boost to Stoke-on-Trent.
“The history of Stoke and ceramics is very, very well-known. For us, made in England and made in Stoke would be an incredible achievement. If we don’t move into Stoke in the next five to 10 years, we’re going to lose a whole generation of skill sets that worked in the Potteries back in the day.”
Jones added that he hopes the move will improve ceramics education in the area by teaming up with local colleges and Staffordshire University to develop modules and courses.
“It’s incredibly exciting, I do get incredibly emotional. It’s meant to be really.”
Production at the factory is slated to begin next year.
Rare Pierre Gouthière Candelabra Gifted to The Frick Collection
Trustee Sidney R. Knafel gifted the New York museum an extraordinary pair of candelabra by Pierre Gouthière (1732 – 1813), the great French chaser-gilder who worked in the second half of the eighteenth century for an elite clientele, including Madame Du Barry, the Duke of Aumont and the Duchess of Mazarin.
A fascinating object, it inspired closer study and fresh scholarship of a vase from the same region purchased one-hundred years earlier by founder Henry Clay Frick…These stunning objects exemplify the technical and artistic excellence reached in Paris in the second half of the eighteenth century. They also have a significant lineage, as they were created for the Duke of Aumont, one of the greatest collectors of the time. They will certainly find a remarkably appropriate setting for display and study here at the Frick.” – Comments Director Ian Wardropper,
The newly acquired candelabra were presented in the Frick’s groundbreaking monographic exhibition Pierre Gouthiere: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court (November 16, 2016 – February 19, 2017).
Pierre Gouthière became a master chaser-gilder in 1758. Little is known of his early years, but by 1765 he was gilding a number of pieces in both bronze and silver for the silversmith to the king, François-Thomas Germain. In 1767, Gouthière was appointed doreur seul ordinaire (gilder to the king) of the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, thus starting a long career at the service of the French court. The Menus-Plaisirs was an administrative body of the king’s household that managed the king’s personal effects and organized his entertainment, creating decors for theatrical productions and for significant occasions such as marriages and funerals
Text (edited) from The Frick Collection.
NEA Money Bill Clears First Hurdle
A bill laying aside money for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowments for the Humanities has passed the House Appropriations committee, a stark contrast to President Trump, who threatened to cut funding for the organizations four months ago. Each endowment is slated to receive $145,000 under the plan fro FY2018—about a $5 million cut from the previous fiscal year.
$145,000,000 shall be available to the National Endowment for the Arts for the support of projects and productions in the arts, including arts education and public out- 18 reach activities, through assistance to organizations and 19 individuals
The NEA is but a small portion of the larger legislation, which includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service and various other independent agencies.
The New York Times writes, the bill may eventually receive a vote by the full House, perhaps as one part of a bigger omnibus bill after the summer recess.
Taboo Series Subverts Stereotypical Gender Roles
In a second edition of Virgil Ortiz’s ongoing Taboo series, the artist aims to mainstream the entire spectrum of gender and sexuality. Like Touko Laaksonen’s (Tom of Findland) formative homoerotic illustrations, Ortiz’s uses his two-spirit imagery, (see: alter-Native Reality) on traditional Cochiti pottery as a tool of empowerment for the LGBTQIA community and its allies.
The Zuni “princess” We’wha (WAY-wah; b.1849), as the local media dubbed her, was an instant celebrity. She boldly stepped forward in the late 1800s as the embodiment of the two-spirit, an individual who combined male and female traits into a socially-recognized third gender roll. As much as she mesmerized Eastern American society, she also characterized the strength of her role in her tribal community. Natives often considered two-spirit people to be among the strongest and most intelligent. Today’s transgender issues and controversy find inspiration in the life of We’wha, and also a voice in pop culture through musical icons like Boy George, Pete Burns, Ru Paul, Grace Jones and others who are shaping and pushing forward the agenda of the LGBT rights movement.
Ortiz says his artwork gives clay a voice carving out space for dialogue.
“There are many issues, especially in current times, that people are increasingly afraid to talk about. It’s important to show the type of imagery I’ve painted for Taboo and record it, even if people are disturbed by it, or it makes them uneasy. It is necessary to create a conversation of connection; we need to engage, participate, support, enlighten and inform one another.”
Ortiz’s latest works not only challenge gender stereotypes, but also serve as a call-to-action, like in Rise Up, which empowers viewers to hold the current administration accountable for its deplorable diatribes and actions. And, his new work Up in Arms brings to question gun control and violence.
The weapon of war and peace becomes a tool of violence and oppression in the wrong hands. We use them to punish ourselves and others.
The works are on display and available at King Galleries in downtown Santa Fe through August.
Do you love or loathe these newsy morsels from the worlds of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.
Editor’s Note: You may have noticed some changes around here. We’re doing to End-of-Summer cleaning and we’re going to change-up a bit how we deliver NewsFile. Each news headline will have it’s own post, and you’ll get these scoops throughout the week instead of on Mondays. What do you think? Let us know how we’re doing.