Peter Voulkos’s performances
Does being obsessed with a dead, horny, chain-smoking performance potter make you want to death drop gag? YES! Thank your lucky stars that some angel uploaded this four and a half hour-long lecture performance of Peter Voulkos. Its ancient video grain is so coarse you can almost throw it on the wheel yourself. Regardless whether you think it was Voulkos who radically challenged ceramics into a viable medium in the ’60s, his work is gorgeous, and his teaching practice laid the groundwork for star potters like John Mason and Ken Price. His ceramic performances took place on theatre stages, at craft festivals or in classrooms where he would perform the production of his large-scale ceramic works in front of a live audience. As a fault line to so much of what we are dealing with today, with the surge of awareness around our health, sustainability and the value of a deeper relationship to ecology, Voulkos brings humour and joy into a social space of discursive craft.
The Climbing Kilns in Okinawa Japan
On Okinawa there is a collectively-run climbing kiln in the village of Yomitan. Okinawan ceramics aims its aesthetic trajectory through a style that fills an impoverished and violent gap in its historically-levelled landscape. All clay is native and outside of the workshop are burlap sacks that drip their filtered contents onto the floor. The kiln is fired three times a year and at this time everyone gathers around its unloading. Like a festival, people come from all over the world to witness this amazing task and take home these dispersed wood-fired vessels. I first visited this site a year ago, and have been trolling all the potters’ Instagrams since then. Thanks to developed global trends the city centres in the south now flush with Williamsburg-esque Tokyo diaspora. Vegan lunches and indigo dyed street wear and rustic southern pottery vibes are back in, and some of the deepest countryside potters are throwing to the stars of the niche retail industry.
Natsuko Uchino is radical, inspired, gorgeous and bright. Her current show in Bourges / la Borne changes the landscape of how young artists are spending their time. This project brings together communities in a way that extends beyond a typical object-based relation and touches on trends in anthropological practices in institutions, but holds itself in the cradle of inspiration and the desire to share knowledge through form.
Her curated exhibition focuses on land rights and land use through the display of indoor and outdoor based crafts, the human body and its relationship to natural materials, as well as sustenance and representation. Within this two-part show, the second opening is happening this weekend – the 28th of October – which coincides with a large-scale wood-firing festival in the region celebrating wood-fired vessels! This girl is a surfboard and the south central French ceramics community is tubing, ripping, pumping and pushing on her and her clay wave point break to the shore.
The band STEIKETO – Taketo Shimada, Veit Laurent Kurz and Stefan Tcherepnin –formed in spring 2016 and first assembled around the rehearsals of the performance Rotting Wood The Dripping Word at PS1 New York – an artistic homage to Shuji Terayama organized by Tobias Madison and myself that was directed by Ariel Efraim Ashbel. It involved twisted sickening people who deeply influenced the atmosphere of the work: $hubi, Ezra Azrieli Holzman, Charlotte Beede, Cobra, Jessica Gadani, ECKHAUS LATTA, Leigha Mason, Elizabeth Orr, Amaya and Maeve Press, William Z Saunders, Bette and Miles Sherr-Garcia, Jessie Stead and Hanna Törnudd.
From the get go STEIKETO has been jamming consistently, inspiring joy through the production of their sound. I’m thinking of the band because I just saw images of a current exhibition by Veit that was framed by them. [http://www.johanberggren.com/veit-laurent-kurz-5/] The show lays down a way of creating work where an open influence of peers produces free and inspired forms verging on mystic depths of belief and communication. This not only results in an object or sound but also reflects a way of being together. This way of working is a life force that will never run dry!
Hawaiian hula dance
Ei Arakawa’s venture into traditional Hawaiian hula dance is everything to me. As I was walking out my door in LA to see Ei’s hula group dance at the (Arm and) Hammer museum I realized that, distractedly watering my vegetable garden, I had left my laptop open to a punu.ninja webpage. Is it usual to have a garden anymore? Is a possible question that Isabel Lewis was asking at her ‘occasion’ at the Palais de Tokyo last weekend, set inside of her own garden concept.
Movement inside of an institution? Dance can essentially be seen as movement currency, since printed dance and printed money were invented at the same time. It’s a slippery slope into the ever-embracing hug of the cast concrete gallery bunker with its draining, sucking kryptonite. How can we access our endless wells of energy and inner strengths? Hawaii knows: through the most inspiring life forces we have close to us – the centre of the earth and its glamorous pimples, spurting the lava which we stand on and which many of us invest in as real estate today.
Matthew Lutz-Kinoy (b.1984) is an artist based in Los Angeles, USA. Recently, he has had solo exhibitions at Mendes Wood, Sao Paulo and Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, and re-staged a play by cult dramatist Shuji Terayama at MoMA/PS1 with artist Tobias Madison. He has organized performances with Isabel Lewis, SOPHIE, Hannah Weinberger, James Leary, Natsuko Uchino, at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Elaine MGK, Basel, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Kunstverein, Amsterdam, New Museum, New York. He is currently in the group exhibition 'Le Mérite. 2014-2016' curated by Tenzing Barshee at Treize, Paris, which is on view until November 12.