STATEMENT AND REFLECTION
When I first started the Impossible Propositions project, my artist statement was as follows:
Transformed produce, once perfect and iconic, regress into their unpollinated, damaged, and rotten counterparts while their packaging stays the same. In order to remind produce consumers the importance of bee pollination, “fruit and vegetables” should be bought and then placed next to produce to constantly remind consumers the potential fate of food in the event of a total bee colony collapse. Along with the creation, the produce will be brought and advertised personally at CCACA by bringing the Imperfect Product box where I go in a performative act imitating the farming and selling work of the generations of family before me.
The produce contained inside this box is made up of recycled material such as sink waste glaze and sink waste clay. Due to the materials, the finished effects are often unpredictable. Controlled placement of the materials, ratios of the materials, and mixtures of known-effect glazes help produce the desired results of the once recognizable produce into their undesirable forms. The recycling of materials also applies strong highlights towards the theme of sustainability.
After the performance that have occurred at CCACA for three days, I would like to spotlight the themes from my many conversations brought up by the many convention goers, admirers, and fellow ceramic artists. Below is the summary of many conversations held with many CCACA-goers.
By walking from exhibition to exhibition, Imperfect Product becomes noticed due to its constant activity. The signs familiarize themselves with people through their experiences at produce aisles and farmers markets, bringing with them ideas of the amount of work it takes to raise and harvest produce.
Their molded, rotten image acts as a memento mori and reminds people of the finite time food has. The produce provokes thoughts of sustainability while the advertisement of the goods and performance ask questions about the quality of life for farmers and agricultural workers.
It was not my original intent to make sustainability the most recognizable theme of the project; however, this variation in interpretation helps broaden the audiences for this project. In the end, the original idea behind the ceramics objects to serve as a reminder of something is still present. Although the reminder has changed, the objects still serve their purpose and I believe this project has fulfilled its duty.
Above displays the first day in photos at CCACA. With it being the first day, there was a lot of uncertainty—will people be interested, is my approach interesting, how should I go around, etc. The three days planned for attending the convention helped me test out the waters the first day and then adjust accordingly as days followed.
After the first day of the convention, I noticed the need for the physicality of the objects, so I took off their tags and let their netted bags be loose. This approach at the end of the day successfully had more convention-goers picking up and analyzing the produce.
On the third and last day, human traffic was at its slowest. Galleries were getting ready to become vacant again and visitors weren't as plentiful. In order to attract the remaining convention-goers, I treated my ceramic objects like their real counterparts and marked them discounted as old fruit. The brighter signs attracted patrons and made my first sales of the entire weekend. The tiresome activity of roaming around all weekend also led to some sidewalk rests, which attracted patrons just the same.
At the end of the convention, the weight of the box barely felt less; however, the conversations about the box, its contents, and purpose had grown. New points of views were discovered and conversations helped keep the talk of the box, the contents, and the walking exhibition alive.