movie day: Great Basin Pottery

 

Joe Winter and Paul Herman met and developed a kinship in the art of pottery in 1995. Though a shared desire to develop their craft, they designed and built an anagama wood fire kiln, which they have fired regularly for the last 19 years. Several years ago, they enlisted the help of a young and dedicated potter, Casey Clark who, along with a small group of ceramic advocates have formed a ritual and community around wood fired ceramics in the Great Basin, north of Reno, NV.

During the Fall of 2018, the three ceramicists sat down with artist, Troy Corliss to discuss their history, craft and design process which has evolved around the anagama kiln. This video includes the full interview and video footage from the Fall 2017 firing.

movie day: Shuffle Trailer

2017/18
Panoramic video for LED screen
available in three-channel projection
colour, sound
8:56 min

Shuffle is a surreal drama of the appropriation, conflation, and international movement of art forms, and their places within colonial histories.

The history of tap dancing lies in North American colonial history. There are many accounts of how West African slaves were brought up from ship holds and forced to dance on deck. Tap, born with this burden of humiliation and grief, was developed further through a melding with Irish step dancing and jigs, English clogging, and later growing through the development of jazz music. Whitewashed and built upon again through ballet in Broadway shows and Hollywood films, it traveled internationally.

The character of the Dancer navigates through this historically layered dance and arrives at a clinically white museum under bright lights. Sculptures made from sallow porcelain, also a material with a complicated history of violence and appropriation, sit on red earth, compacted to hold the shape of museum plinths. The porcelain pieces sit, pale pink burnt as if exposed to a blazing sun, salt encrusted, peeling, grazed, flaking and bruised, wilted and precariously perched on their unstable hosts. The Dancer, wearing black tails encrusted with shells, salt, lace, and pearls, and donning a laced mask over their face, pirouettes through the unfamiliar space.

The film hinges on the tension created between the porcelain pieces, earth plinths, and Dancer; the precarious balance between the percussion of the tap steps and the tenuous structures. The dance begins cautiously, but becomes confident and dangerous in the Dancer’s efforts to engage with the structures – the objects move and shake, and the earth plinths begin to crumble.

When they collapse, ceramics shatter, and together they create a new landscape, seemingly broken, but in fact a new arrangement made from the same material, suggesting a resilience. Through the Dancer’s vain attempts to destabilise and destroy within this museum-like context, they have only co-opted the materials for their own creation.

Mahmudul Raz, cinematographer on Shuffle, won the 2017 Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) WA Gold Award for best experimental cinematography with this work.

CREDITS (Full credit here)

Written and Directed by
Pilar Mata Dupont

Produced by
Pilar Mata Dupont
Ella Wright

Cast:

The Dancer
Claudia Alessi

Ceramic artist
Andrea Vinkovic

Sculptor earth plinths
Matthew McAlpine

We would like to acknowledge the Badimia people who are the traditional custodians of the land where the red earth used in this artwork is sourced. We would also like to pay our respects to the Elders past, present, and future of the Badimia nation.

The original form of this work was commissioned by Transport for New South Wales and produced by Cultural Capital for Wynscreen, Sydney, Australia.

The reformatting of this work for three-channel projection was supported by the Film/Video Studio at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, USA; the Associação Cultural Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brasil; and TENT Rotterdam, Nederland.

Special Thanks
Ella Wright and Bright Yellow Productions; Steve Vojkovic and Boogiemonster; Leanne and Stuart McAlpine; Carly Lynch; Lewis Russell, Jason Liu; Cecilia and Alejandro Mata; Thomas Drenth; Mahmudul Raz and Raz Media; Jennifer Lange; Steve Gardiner and Edith Cowan University.

www.pilarmatadupont.com/Shuffle

technical tuesday: JONATHAN KEEP – THREE DIMENSIONAL IN MORE WAYS THAN… THREE?

Since the dawn of humanity we have been on a path of inventiveness where nature has inspired us to create. From the earliest times fire, earth and water are the elements used to create the first useful tools – pots.

The shards of pottery discovered by archaeologists through the ages have been the jigsaws that show us how ancient cultures have developed. From crude but useful pots for cooking in or carrying oil to sublime examples of the greatest Chinese porcelain, human creativity knows no bounds.

From the first, we mixed earth and water to make clay and rolled and coiled it to create a wonderful array containers of shapes and sizes. It was possible to build thicker walled and taller vessels. This technique allows greater control as they are built up and to make the vessel look bigger and bulge outward or narrow inward with less danger of collapsing.

Fast-forward to the 21st century and UK based ceramicist Jonathan Keep – who still likes to be called a potter, has created a link with our ancient past by using latest technology to make his incredible work. He uses the very latest technology to explore the relationship between nature and culture. In the same way as our forefathers, Jonathan has made a 3D printer to extrude coils of clay to build his work.. He shows how nature and inventiveness once again combine to create incredibly original, sensual and highly organic examples of the potter’s art.

Read more at: numberiii.com/moving-picture/2016/j-keep-3d-potter

movie day: Satoru Hoshino “Beginning Form – Sprial ’17”

Satoru Hoshino was invited to install his work “Beginning Form – Spiral ’17” at Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, Australia as part of the exhibition “Sodeisha – Connected to Australia”. Newcastle Art Gallery holds a substantial collection of ceramics which includes a collection of works donated by the Sodeisha group (a contemporary Japanese ceramics collective) in 1981. The installation of this work took Hoshino 6 days working 9am-5pm with the help of an assistant from the gallery’s install team.
See more here:
nag.org.au/Exhibitions/Current/SODEISHA-connected-to-Australia

movie day: Mary Borgstrom

Mary grew up on a small farm and raised her two children… it wasn’t until after her kids were grown she found her passion for art. Little did Mary know it would come to define her… A life lesson to not judge a book by its cover, and to follow your dreams no matter what age.