( Photographs by Ali Lapetina )
Please, @ Trinosophes, Detroit, MI
December 1, 2017 - May 1, 2018
As I have enacted projects that have continually built off the the historically social and cross cultural aspects of ceramics, I have diverged from a traditional path toward being a potter to pursue the art of art education; one of more explicitly public and collaborative ways of art making, and one which is less easily commodified. But in reflecting on the traditions of vessel making that my work is rooted in, I have often asked myself If I could feel creatively fulfilled and morally justified in the production and sale of ceramics as my occupation. And if so, could I sell it in way that could sustain me, while also making it accessible to individuals of diverse socioeconomic standings, and while not undermining its value? And what then would those objects look like?
“Please,” was a collaboration with Trinosophes’ cafe which set up utopian system to answer these questions; allowing people to encounter and use the objects without buying them, to understand their actual market value, and to pay what they’d like for them.
When I arrived as a fellowship student at Ox-Bow School of Art in 2010, a note had been nailed to the door of the maintenance shed. It read:
“To whoever is staying a John house,
I borrowed the scaffolding.
Call me Keith.“
Saying “Please,” became the joke of the summer. But as the request has become isolated from its original context it has regained earnestness and found purpose in my work. Please, make this worth while. Please, be well. Please, call me 989 600 2467.