Of eaters and the eaten, 2023
Installation// Porcelain, glass, granulated white sugar grout, candied brown sugar, mahogany, carpet, and rugs// 28"x10'x16'. Photos taken by Christopher Wormald.
Of eaters and the eaten is both body and landscape, a display of an ontology. In a perpetual state of transient escape, morphing, melting, and mutating the broken porcelain tiles, oozing blue and white plates, slumped glass, cannibalized tchotchkes, and mutated moon jar vessels adorn the table. Kensugi parody keloids, acknowledging the violence and brokenness while offering coagulation as a product of healing. Candied brown sugar is poured on the table, leaking and pulling —disrupting the porcelain tableware –and acting as gestural Black beings reclaiming and occupying a space that has historically consumed them. The drip and ooze become an aesthetic of collapse and leakage. Melting is not only an act of decay but a mode of what Fred Moten terms Black fugitivity or “spirit of escape” –a freedom drive and death drive.
Keloid I, II, & III cannibalize racialized tchotchke figurines through adornment and covers them in porcelain slip. The rose embellishment on the sculptures become decoration and tumor. Referencing a keloid or raised scar after an injury has healed, the roses obscure the figurines and create new images. The porcelain slip cracks on the surface as if it were flaking skin, revealing moments of original glaze beneath it. The sculpture's glaze is various hues of blue and green, obscuring the traditional blue/white and celadon glazes synonymous with Asian ceramics. Keloid I, II, and III are one of the many components within Of eaters and the eaten and sit on a sea of broken porcelain and granulated sugar grout. Sugar and porcelain, both colonial commodities, camouflage into one another, reflecting Whiteness's ability to disguise symbols of power and capital hidden in plain sight.
The cannibalized tchotchke sculptures offer adornment as a method of healing. Grotesque beauty becomes a keloid, reminding us of the beauty that can grow from injury.