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Shock and Awe Redux + New Venus

Video Editing:  Alicia Chester

There are two theories of how ceramic firing developed. One is related to food, the other awe. Shock and Awe Redux is a re-performance of the Paleolithic practice of tossing Venus figures into an open fire, likely to see them explode.

My first action upon confronting clay is to grab a chunk and squeeze it. Some years ago while preparing some clay, I did just that and when I opened my fist I noticed the familiar contours of a Venus form. I began using studio visits as a time to sit, talk and make impressions of the the interior space of the hand. The hollow space of the hand is the space of a hammer, a saw, a knife and a handshake. The squeezing of clay captures the mark of labor and strength. Rather than recreate the historical sculptures of the Venus, I chose this form to toss into the fire on a cold evening in January and waited to see which of them would explode. The many survivors hang on the wall. This is New Venus.

Chicago Artist Coalition — Chicago, Illinois — 2013
Emerging Artist Exhibition, NCECA — Houston, Texas — 2013