For a couple of years now online viewers have been the predominant audience for exhibitions. It could be argued that the digital image has superseded the encounter with the physical art object itself and a click often saves us from the strenuous and sometimes expensive trip to a gallery or museum. In Flatland, a brilliant essay published in the free online journal The New Enquiry, in 2013, author Loney Abrams claims that, under the aforementioned circumstances, the documentation media of exhibitions must be considered an artistic medium in its own right, reflecting the most consequential representation of an artist or curator’s work – at least when the work/exhibition is viewed online.
Keeping this in mind, Jesse Wine and I opted to reintroduce the counterintuitive element of a physical exhibition catalogue. Not as an act of redundant bemoaning of days gone by, but as a full acknowledgment of the challenges, and potential, that one is faced with in the .com era. In Take Care: Ettore Sottsass and Jesse Wine two artists with different styles and from different eras meet under the same denominator, namely the medium of ceramic. The exhibited work is a far cry from the instantaneousness of an online viewing experience, with clay being deeply rooted in the most ancient civilizations, speaking a primordial language about gone mysteries and rituals. However, it is possible that exactly due to the disguising attributes of the material posted on the Internet, the linearity of time is momentarily absolved.
Perhaps due to my improvidence whilst approaching the field of ceramics, which I’ve only recently discovered, I tend to associate the medium with antique relics that have been unearthed and exhibited side by side regardless of their function and indeed temporal categorization. Similarly, I envision Wine and Sottsass’ works as timeless pieces that might well be buried beside each other in a distant, utopian future. Once resurfaced they would speak of the same sensorial and instinctual fantasies of open-ended dreams, regardless of their formal, stylistic and temporal differences.
My most sincere thanks go to those who were involved in making the catalogue for Take Care: Ettore Sottsass and Jesse Wine; Jesse for his time and dedication to come up with an innovative way of looking at art on the web. Alessio Sarri for his trust and insight into the wonderful world of the Antiche Ceramiche; Fanny Singer for her inspiring essay which also gave its name to the exhibition; Giulio Boem and Gary Didsbury for the fantastic photos of the works and The Gallery Mourmans, Maastricht, Photology, Milan and Limoncello Gallery, London for their trust in the project. They were all instrumental in making an exhibition that was, will be or has never been.