Recycled clay, bricks, wood, palettes, saw dust, paper, sweat, dust, hair, nail, skin particules, water, plastic. Bergen, Norway, 2016 - 2017
A journey through the potentiality of failure, January 2017
Building up a vessel aiming to ride my fears with a material such as clay - that is bound to sink and dissolve in contact with water - is a project that I wanted to carry through to the
point of sinking in it at sea - that is if the boat did not collapse before hand. It is a fearsome performance but such gesture would be indeed a beautiful illustration of the core of my practice.
The process of building a clay boat is a hard labor. It took me three weeks to recycle 350kg of clay. Hammering the dried clay, adding water and fibers, mixing it, putting it on plaster for it to extract the excess of water, wedging it to remove air bubbles and assembling the clay components together. I could feel every part of the process in my body. Constructing the boat itself took another month, slowly building its structure which kept on collapsing through my being too greedy and too impatient to wait for the clay to be dry enough to support itself.
Once finished, came the real source of the problem. What about it’s transportation? It was meant to go at sea after all. And yet, I discarded the very thought of concern about this matter until I could not avoid it anymore.
When the boat was finally finished I had to start thinking of its way out of the room. But the boat was too large to pass the doors. The more I advanced in the process, the more I encountered difficulties. There was no way for the piece to exit its room without collapsing. Unconsciously, I must have done everything I could to avoid confronting my fear. However, what would this sculpture stand for by itself in a room far away from water? After such a long process, I could not just give it up like that, these struggles of moving this fragile piece could be after all, described as a dedication towards tragedy as a grand ideological narrative.
As I am still looking for the solutions, I found myself writing the problems away on potential ways out. What would happen if I cut it in three pieces - the size of each palettes, kept it leather hard for the clay to remain as solid as it can, transport it to the shore, find supports so that I could twist it on the right side, put the pieces together with wet clay, wait half a day, ask four to six people to help me lift it to the water, get inside.
Would it collapse just before - so close to the goal?