Welcome to NewsFile, our bi-weekly round-up of the latest news and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. We launch this edition with a tour stop for Garth Clark’s lecture ‘A Necessary Irritant.”
Garth Clark to Speak in Akron, Ohio
A Necessary Irritant, Garth Clark’s witty performance piece that traces his half century journey through modern and contemporary ceramics will be presented in Akron on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the Folk Hall Auditorium, at the University of Akron, Myers School of Art, Thursday, 150 E. Exchange Street, Akron, OH. 5:30 pm with a reception at 6:00 pm. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Come on Clevelanders, and others in nearby cities, this is the tour’s only stop in the Ohio so car pool, cycle, share a bus, lease a jet, bring friends and students and enjoy a memorable night of Garth’s colorful narrative, from hilarious to poignant, with a lively multi-media, big-screen presentation.
He lets us in on working with Michael Cardew, Lucie Rie, Betty Woodman, Peter Voulkos and the young artists today who are reinventing the medium, from printed ceramic innovator Oliver van Herpt to Beth Stichter. Also there are some surprises in his supporting cast: Orson Welles, Jasper Johns, Judy Chicago, Isamu Noguchi, Sterling Ruby, Sir Anthony Caro, Theaster Gates, Ai Weiwei and others make cameo appearances. It’s a breathtaking sprint through 50 years of ceramic history.
In the past three months he has spoken to packed audiences in Australia, Britain, Canada and USA. After Akron Garth takes a break from the tour to attend to his writing and Cfile commitments. In 2019 he is back on the road to the East Coast and Europe. We will keep you apprised of his schedule.
And a closing note about the school, Folk Hall, home of the Myers School of Art, was once a Cadillac auto dealership, complete with spacious showrooms and service bays. Now completely remodeled, it is among the largest academic art facilities in the region.
Check the out the Facebook Event here.
#MeToo in Ceramics
It’s no surprise the #metoo movement would find ground in the world of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art. In a recent post on Instagram, @potsinaction accused male ceramic artist Eric Landon of abusing his position and power to make inappropriate sexual advances toward a female employee.
How do we make real change and a real movement? BELIEVE WOMEN when they have the courage to take the risk to tell their stories like Emalee Hudson @softearth.ceramics did when she posted her experience of alleged sexual harassment from Eric Landon, aka Tortus Copenhagen during her time working for him…
Citing “womanizers” Peter Voulkos and Paul Solder “who had institutional support and fostered a culture misogyny, harassment, and demeaning women’s experiences and their careers within education, @potsinaction sheds light on a long, systemic pattern within the field of ceramics further calling to action to “un-normalize” the subjugation and disenfranchisement of women artists.
You can see the original post here, where you can also find other allegations of sexual misconduct and misogyny.
What do you think of our news round-up from the world of contemporary ceramics and contemporary ceramic art. We want to hear from you.
One thought on "NewsFile | Garth Clark’s Lecture Heads to Akron + #MeToo"
I think one of the points we need to consider is that it is the institutions that perpetuate and provide opportunities for the power dynamics to continue. There are always systems within the box that interconnect and protect; knowingly or unintentionally, unions, tenure are prime examples. How many warnings, reports or verbal addresses should be enough?
In a society that has created rape-culture, awareness is not only crucial for cultural responsibility but providing ongoing neutral platforms for those who have been subjected is fundamental. I have seen a lot about the Me Too movement and I think it has opened some tightly locked doors. The impact of negative actions should create consequences severe enough to alarm all. Let’s stop the gatekeepers in their tracks.
I experienced molestation at a very young age from a neighbor boy and 3 different male adults between the ages of 3-7. It didn’t stop there. Abuse manifested in another form in the porn-induced behaviors of my husband. As much as I loved my husband I ended my 12-year marriage after realizing I was being drugged and raped.
I returned to school and continued my education in fine art, while taking Family and Intimate Partner violence classes, along with some psychology courses. I was trying to gain insight into deviant behaviors, for my artistic practice.
Ceramics was the last place I anticipated that power dynamics would become an issue. In my senior year, I experienced quite a range of emotions and confusion. What I endured did not occur within the ceramics department, but an advisor, another experienced academic. Someone who denied me the opportunity to say no. I was feeling sexually harassed and I did not know what to do about it.
I can not get into the details because I have lodged a formal complaint, but I do feel that my social relationships were affected because I took a stand. Not having this professor before I was unaware of the individual’s reputation as being so “sexual” in nature. A position most of the female students were quite comfortable with. I became concerned and realized here I was again. When is it going to stop?
My academic celebratory year-end crit was not shared with my full class. I felt like an outsider for my choices. I withdraw from our last crit. I did not want to be in the room with a person who made me feel so degraded and worse a person who also sexualizing my final work even though the installation spoke directly against the message he insisted I was trying to convey. After four years of University, I know what I wanted to create and why. I felt mentally violated and disrespected.
Another experience where a woman must do her own problem solving to maintain a sense of self-respect and sanity. Moments of questioning my own values and integrity, not to mention practice, because of a power dynamic that was inappropriate.
Everyone has choices to make. I felt that I had to pay the price for making the right one. We can not make informed decisions without full disclosure. Whether it be an individual or an institution how can we be proactive when others stand by and inadvertently or directly protect, justify or make excuses for another’s behavior?
I hope that we are seeing a shift with so many individuals coming forward that have been abused. Physical, sexual, mental or emotional, there is no place for it in the 21st Century. It is through those who advocate and our stories that we can continue to eradicate the toxins eroding self-worth.