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.

An ornate object like porcelain can be abstracted to represent a racialized and gendered aesthetic, asking how is one's personhood contingent on objecthood, or prescribed to us via fetishization? How can a person morph into an object?

In a perpetual state of transient escape, oozing blue and white plates, slumped glass, cannibalized tchotchkes, and mutated moon jar vessels adorn a large table. These components sit on a sea of broken porcelain and granulated sugar grout. Sugar and porcelain, both colonial commodities, camouflage into one another, reflecting Whiteness ability to disguise symbols of power and capital hidden in plain sight. Candied brown sugar is poured on the table – 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 a death drive.

At the same time, components within the larger installation, like the Keloid series – cannibalized racialized tchotchke figurines – offer adornment as a method of healing. Like a keloid or raised scar after an injury has healed, the rose embellishments become tumor and decoration, obscuring the figurines, and creating new images. The porcelain slip cracks on the surface as if it were flaking skin, revealing moments of original glaze beneath it. The various hues of blue and green glazes obscure the traditional blue and white and celadon glazes synonymous with Asian ceramics.

Referencing also Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the break with lacquer, these works acknowledge the violence and brokenness while offering coagulation as a product of healing.

Using Format