RE—Reanimate, Repair, Mend and Meld
Co-curated by Paul Scott and Andrew Baseman
This group exhibition examines the contemporary artistic interest in repaired ceramics. It focuses on materially related forms and graphic material by leading contemporary artists who exploit and explore the surrounding issues of conservation, restoration, over-consumption, reuse, and recycling.
NEW YORK CERAMICS & GLASS FAIR
Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY
January 21–24, 2016
1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA, US
February 13–April 17, 2016
Bluecoat Display Centre
Liverpool, England, UK
Oct 10–Nov 14, 2015
“Before the advent of modern glues, broken ceramics or glass objects were drilled, wired, stapled or riveted together, textiles used to be darned or patched. Home-made or improvised ‘make do and mend’ repairs were made to a loved plate or jug and finer variations of these techniques used by serious conservators. The preciousness of these intimately repaired objects faded with time and in conservation circles practices which interfered with the ‘integrity of the object’ became actively discouraged and disapproved. A few years ago, in spite of their beauty, rivets in plates and wired handles hugely devalued a piece of antique tableware. In some museum collections even the evidence of a staple or riveted repair would be removed and hidden if new conservations took place.
“In more recent times, as we struggle to come to terms with our over consumption of finite resources, the concept of re-cycling has become a central tenet of modern life. There is an increasing interest for crafted, restored, once loved objects so that the obviously repaired,‘traditional’ processes again appear beautiful, functional and intriguing. Whilst their display is not yet common in our public museums, private collections and interests are building. Enthusiast Andrew Baseman has a comprehensive archive of beautifully repaired glass, and ceramic objects, which he makes available to wider public though his wonderful blog.
“For many artists, re-cycling and reuse has long been a natural part of practice; as well as ecological soundness, trash is generally cheap (if not free). Existent, damaged worn or broken objects carry messages, they have already had a life and carry evidence of their journey in material fabric. This realized physicality can be used or exploited in aesthetic form, as conceptual device or collateral evidence. Discarded graphic material has long been used in collage and more recently material from industrial archives are also being used to create new iterations.”
— Paul Scott, co-curator and artist
Click here to view video of Paul Scott presenting work from this exhibition at the Bluecoat Display Centre in October 2015. (His segment begins at 11:55 minutes.)