This week we visited the new exhibition of Martin Laborde at Corner Door; we learned more about Kenneth Anger, we passed by the exhibition Juiceworks, we watched artist movies made by Heidi Bucher and Liz Magic Laser; and we wished you Happy Valentine’s day with the song Je t’aime…moi non plus performed by Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin.
The air in Human Resources was fragrant, full of fresh citrus. Shimmering ceramic bowls of tangerines, lemons, and grapefruits lay scattered about the gallery, adding splashes of bright color to the cool and dimly lit space.
Michael Parker’s interactive Juiceworks installation ended today at Human Resources Los Angeles. Over the past several months, Parker created dozens of ceramic juicers, bowls, plates, and cups, and arranged them on halved-log tables in HR’s white cubic space. The instruments themselves look like the briny vertebrae of mysterious sea creatures, fragments of barnacle-coated abalone shells shining opalescent under the soft glow of ethereal lamplight.
When I visited, several small groups had gathered around tables, sitting on low stools of wood and soft coiled rope, chatting as they juiced their citrus. I picked up a delicate ceramic bowl, its pale blue rim mottled fuscia like a head of cabbage, and washed it in a nearby sink. Even the basins full of running water were made of porcelain.
As I sipped from my cup of fresh-squeezed juice, I looked around the room and noticed that citrus fruit had brought us all together. A symbol of Southern California utopianism, citrus has–since the early days when Orange County meant oranges–been commodified, transformed into a major agribusiness. Cold steel machines in distant factories do our juicing, further alienating our labor as Marx once predicted. But sitting there with a handmade porcelain tool and cup in hand, I felt connected to the fruit and their tart, refreshing taste. This was a juicery of dreams.
I recently visited the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, California, where I discovered the work of Betty Davenport Ford. Ford is a sculptor who has been active in the California ceramics scene since the 1950s. Her clay forms usually take the shape of animals and plant life. In addition to her sculptures, I really enjoyed the documentation of Ford working in her studio, and photographs of her outdoor sculptures, and her home, which is decked out in Mid-Century Modern furniture and designs.