The poetics of the Vase

Thinking again about an earlier post Muslim Blue (01.07.2010) and reading poems and references to the Vase. A vase is the development of the bowl and pot, an object that carries and enfolds life on the inside and the outside, combining image and form in a timeless space. A broken vase shatters time and memory. When reformed (not repaired) it re-embodies the scent of every moment it was in the extended time frames of becoming fragmented.

“Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole. The glue that fits the pieces is the sealing of its original shape. It is such a love that reassembles our African and Asiatic fragments, the cracked heirlooms whose restoration shows its white scars. This gathering of broken pieces is the care and pain of the Antilles, and if the pieces are disparate, ill-fitting, they contain more pain than their original sculpture, those icons and sacred vessels taken for granted in their ancestral places. Antillean art is this restoration of our shattered histories, our shards of vocabulary, our archipelago becoming a synonym for pieces broken off from the original continent.

And this is the exact process of the making of poetry, or what should be called not its “making” but its remaking, the fragmented memory, the armature that frames the god, even the rite that surrenders it to a final pyre; the god assembled cane by cane, reed by weaving reed, line by plaited line, as the artisans of Felicity would erect his holy echo.”

Ai Weiwei confirming that gravity works

Kris Martin

“The work sets off a number of questions about the value of objects invested with ideas by an artist, the sincerity of those ideas, and the transience of the artistic gesture. Vase, a large scale blue and white porcelain vase is smashed by Martin each time its location changes. He then systematically reassembles it piece by piece. Having recently been shown for its third time at PS1, the vase endures signs of irreparable damage that again question our notions of value, perfection and artistic preservation.”


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