Colored Porcelain Chair
30" x 16" x 17"

Colored Porcelain Chair is an investigation of an object being more than itself. Of a chair being a chair but also a chair, a table/ottoman, and a cushion, possessing multitudes of purpose, use, and value. Of a chair being a chair but also a sculpture. Of a sculpture being utile, something supposedly oxymoronic. 

I have witnessed how there is nothing that isn't moving. How touching is a kind of seeing, and thinking is a kind of kissing. How In the words of the poet Marilyn Nelson “if one has the ear and takes the time, even the front page of the newspaper is laden with sonnets. The back of a cereal box contains songs. Language is an organ, a musical instrument. Which means that even when having an argument we are singing...” (Lewis, Robin Coste. “Broken, Defaced, Unseen: The Hidden Black Female Figures of Western Art.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 10 July 2017) Nelson’s beautiful idea of seeing poetry, or rather the poetic impulse, as pervasive in all aspects of life recalls a thought from Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry. He states how poetry exists in a realm of the virtual. While it is very much real, the act of rendering what is in the depths of the poet must succumb to the bitterness of the actual when attempting to communicate through the harshness of language’s capacity to express. Versus preserving the glimmer of the unreal that is the poem in its most pure truth. Lerner finds that “[he] tended to find lines of poetry beautiful only when encountered them quoted in prose, in the essays [his] professors had assigned in college, where the line breaks were replaced with slashes, so that what was communicated was less a particular poem that the echo of poetic possibility.” (Lerner, Ben. The Hatred of Poetry. Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017.) This sentiment I'm sure is held by anyone who has ventured to tangibly realize an idea through the conduit of material, of the unfortunate gap between the original impulse and the thing that now sits before you. In working with ceramics I have never become to accustomed to the embrace of failure that is inherent in making something go from being ‘virtual’ into being ‘real’.

I’m interested in exploring these gaps between the virtual and real in forms intended for functional. When does furniture, become sculpture?

copyright 2020 isabel rower all rights reserved