A composition in image and sound, the exhibition “Music for Teacups” employs video, sculpture and installation that utilize one object —the teacup—as a whimsical metaphor through which to explore and subvert notions of class and etiquette.
The video Music for Teacups, 2013 is a composition in image and sound that recombines captured footage of falling and breaking teacups. Like the “Drop Art” movement of the early 1960s and more recently a 1995 photographic triptych by prominent dissident Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei in which he is shown dropping a Han dynasty urn in an irreverent gesture to the worship of China’s past, the artists are in good company making art that expressive and even beautiful in its destruction. Central to Music for Teacups, however, are the sounds you are hearing as a direct representation of what you are seeing. Watch how the artists have captured both the image and sound of the moment a teacup or bell opens up, bounces on the ground or violently shatters and find the musicality hidden within these transformative events.
A Host of Options (wallpaper), 2013 is an installation of 2,400 small laser cut teacup shapes to create a fluttering wallpaper effect in the gallery. Installed with mother-of-pearl headed corsage pins, the teacups dangle by the handle—shifting as the viewer walks through the space. The black silhouette emphasizes the patterns that begin to develop as well echo true multiplicity available in porcelain production.
In addition, the video For Best, 2013 and the installation, To rend and to mend, 2013 document a performance in which the artists walk a simple, oval shaped balance beam (12′ long by 5′ wide) while Haviland balances china on her head. After balancing and breaking five full sets of china the remnants of the performance are mended and presented as sculpture. Haviland and Colagiovanni have said “Porcelain for us isn’t precious and neither are the roles associated with its use. We hope our work can communicate the fragility of both.”
Haviland and Colagiovanni are artists who live and collaborate in Athens, Ohio. Haviland, who is Associate Professor of Art, Ohio University, straddles the boundaries between printmaking and installation-performance exploring lineage, ritual, and practice within objects that are gendered and classed. Colagiovanni, who also teaches at Ohio, is a video and sound artist with interests in the reconfiguration of image and sound and the effects of gravity and immersion in virtual and physical space. They have exhibited nationally both singly and as a duo; been awarded numerous grants, fellowships, and residencies and have works in several permanent collections. In October, Music for Teacups will be included in the 2013 British Ceramics Biennial in England’s former Spode factory. You can learn more about the artists and their work on their websites: www.colagiovanni.net and www.melissahaviland.com.
The exhibition was selected from 117 applications through DVAC’s 2012 Biennial Call for Exhibitions.
You can check out this exhibition through October 19th at DVAC, located at DVAC 118 North Jefferson, downtown Dayton. The galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 6pm.