Suspensions is a series of functional sculptures inspired by ancient vessels that were intended for many hands and to serve many people. The project stems from a fascination with "primitive form" that took place on the part of modern art and architecture historians, in between and following WW2. During a time of postwar reconstruction, when design was viewed as an important force in shaping the habits and patterns of everyday life, common objects of antiquity became an aperture for examining social relations. For figures such as the art historian and theorist Herbert Read (1893-1964), the "primitive" objects of pre-history were relics symbolising an ur-stage of sociability and an ideal vision of a homogenous community. Yet after the industrial revolution, commodity production directed the design of functional tools–especially tools for sharing nourishment– into increasingly individual and, eventually, single use. In this way, design acted as a cipher for examining changing models and values of sociability, prompting figures like Read to ask: who are we, how did we get here, and who do we, collectively, wish to become?
As a material exploration rooted in speculative and counterfactual history, these sculptures reinterpret the design of historical objects to ask similar questions in the present. Taking the form of water jugs, vessels, bowls with removable dividers, and multi-sided utensils, the works appropriate design motifs to facilitate social and bodily connections. Materials such as rope, chains, and rubber – used in other contexts to mediate vulnerability, contact, and boundaries – appear as knotted braces, handles, partitions, and ornamentation. Framed as allegories for sociability, the sculptures are conceived as tools for questioning the dynamics of consumption, distribution, and reciprocity – factors that inform the politics of sharing.
Actions and Words, Water jug, Ceramic with gunmetal glaze, rubber, copper, 2018
Subdivision no. 1, Bowl with removable divider, Ceramic with various glazes, 2018
Subdivision no.2, Bowl with removable divider, Ceramic with various glazes, 2018