Ceramic Ono

I went to the office today. As far as I can see, mask-wearing on public transport varies according to the time of day, presumably tracking the different kinds of jobs people are travelling to. Bus passengers in the early hours will be covered, but later on the schoolchildren don’t bother and there are some smarter-dressed workers mask-free. Today I saw the first unmasked man who looked like he might be ready to squabble about the issue, muttering something about “brainwashed” and he sat down next to me and another mask-wearer.

For what I hoped might be a bit of light occupational therapy, I had booked a slot at the MEND PIECE show at Whitechapel Gallery. I got there early and went in to the This Is The Night Mail exhibition first.

First impressions are quite striking:

Foreground: Schauspieler II (2014) by Isa Genzken, and then l-r: Nachttisch (1985) by Martin Kippenberger, Death In America #5 (2003) by Steven Perrino, Deux Borques Bleues (1970) by Anna-Eva Bergman, Blue Idiot (1986) by Steven Perrino.

Blue Idiot again, No 21-1977 Planete et terre (1977) by Ann-Eva Bergman, Gutt Fra Warnemunde (1907) by Edvard Munch, Andante (1908) by Harald Sohlberg, Badehus (1894) by Harald Sohlberg.

The Window Into My Past (2012) by Ilya Kabakov, Skogtroid (1905), Troll pa flya (1910) and Stortrollet i Breifonna (1892) all by Theodor Kittelson, Vinternatt i fjellene (1911) by Harald Sohlberg, Trait d’argent (1986) by Anna-Eva Bergman.
Ettore e Andromaca (1959) by Giorgio De Chirico.
Komposisjon (1916), Komposisjon (1915), Kubistisk Komposisjon (1916), all by Thorvald Hellesen
Foreground: Migration Rickshaw For Sleeping, Building and Playing (2013) by Thaester Gates, behind it Natt (1916) by Per Krohg.
A la Galcante (2015) by Paulina Olowska.
Seductress (2020) by Paulina Olowska.
Tarp (Black 2) (2014) by Gardar Eide Einarson, also Har dyrene sjael (1893) by Theodor Kittelson.
One of the prints in Har dyrene sjael (1893) by Theodor Kittelson.

And then back into the other rooms.

Other viewers were already at work at the piles of broken crockery on the 2 desks. Then it was my turn.

I looked at the fragments of damaged life but I just couldn’t help myself, ny impulse was to try to fit them together in their original forms. I spent a minute or 2 even trying to locate 2 pieces that could fit together like jigsaw elements. The best I could do were these:

And they needed a complement to fill the gap… but still, I hoped I could achieve half a cup, from the base up to the rim.

But they simply wouldn’t hold together, so I gave up trying to force them back into an order they had never jointly engaged in anyway. I just made a new fusion and added the string as a decorative attachment:

Added to the shelf of works:

I said sorry to the attendant chap that I couldn’t do a better job but he didn’t mind. Here’s what the other shelf had accumulated:

This was no good as occupational therapy as I felt sad that I hadn’t been able to fix the broken cup. Twenty years after Ono’s presented here original exhibition Julian Schnabel created art by painting over broken ceramics attached to canvas; maybe she could update the process by adding that as an option. Yoko Ono has done collaborative work with other artists, including a musician she had a relationship with. It’s unusual to hear about the partners of famous artists, but he managed to have a career of his own as well.

The picture at the top is an advert for the new property developments on Smithfield Road.

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