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Ceramics, Ethics and Technology – Materials, Methods and Modernism

Ceramics, Ethics and Technology – Materials, Methods and Modernism


This ambitious exhibition proposes to review ceramic practice, from historical to contemporary, tracing its ongoing relationship to ethics and technology. The concept of craft emerged in the late 19th century as an anti-industrial ideology, which advocated skill and aestheticized the non-uniform and hand-wrought. In the following age of the Information Revolution, where the body is thought irrelevant, needing only the human mind for data input, the conceptual potential of crafts becomes even more potent.

This exhibition looks at a range of work, from historical ceramic figurines imbued with moral teachings, through to clay-based installations commenting on global issues, to the use of clay materials in the manufacturing of stealth bombers, artificial limbs and microprocessors. Within this exhibition will also be an exploration of ceramic art's intimacy with everyday life, through its considered functionality and humble service to the human body, whether as a food vessel, or a burial urn. Works in this exhibition will highlight the practices of contemporary Canadian artists, framed within the context of global ceramic art practice.

As part of the methodology of producing this exhibition, the curator has proposed using technology in the form of a website and active WiKi, to involve the national and global ceramic art community in a discussion on the exhibition's thesis. This use of technology will also form part of the exhibition. It will serve as a research strategy to uncover the network of ceramic artists, reveal their intellectual engagement with issues and their practice. It will also be a form of a publication, and will enable documentation of the exhibition as well as additional artworks not otherwise physically present in the gallery.