Self-portraits & other accumulated objects fr/ an ongoing inquiry
You have to rediscover that your body is a wonder. Biologists, others, have been trying to understand the body. It is a masterpiece of the cosmos . . . Your body is the seat of consciousness . . . the consciousness of the cosmos. And you don’t know the value of your body. Your body contains all information of the history of the cosmos. In every cell of your body, you can recognize the presence of your ancestors – not only human ancestors, but animal, vegetable and mineral ancestors. – Thich Nhat Hanh
The subject inquiry is a material and philosophical investigation of clay and ceramics, which begins with the body, the idiosyncratic somatic responses of the artist’s sentient body. This investigation has lead to the evolution of a paradigm of thought in which the living human body is understood to inhabit a continuum between inert, mineral/earthen material and genetically inscribed living being.
One of the salient issues at stake in this paradigm is the idea of a life/non-life continuum. In this regard, the question of self-portraiture has been raised as a vehicle for exploring the idea of (living, conscious, material) self within the context of this (material/immaterial) continuum. While recent research has focused primarily on philosophical, theoretical and scientific texts, the artist recently saw a short video teaching from Thich Nhat Hanh, in which the Buddhist teacher spoke of the body as a vehicle of knowledge, in which one has direct access to the cosmos and to the full range of one’s own lineage, which includes our “animal, vegetable and mineral ancestors.”
This teaching parallels the trajectory of the subject inquiry, in which the artist/self relies on bodied, intuitive, associative modes of thought to pursue a matrix of ideas, explored in the works that are included in this presentation.