Autumn in Peking

 

 

Vases to be purchased and broken in a vending machine. The work was commissioned for a small exhibition which was to take place in a vending machine in the frame of Villa Tokyo. The enormous range of different vending machines and products sold in them in Tokyo is astonishing for Europeans. It is nearly possible to purchase all products one could need (including an umbrella or living lobster) without even talking to a living being. Regarding the commercial character of art market it was interesting to take part in a project which examined the need of a gallery. At the same time the idea of machines brutality was very prompting (both in its emotional as in its physical aspect). The work concentrates on the moment after the payment is done and the chosen object falls down to the dispenser drawer. In this moment the vase brakes.

 

 

In Autumn in Peking Boris Vian describes a group of archaeologists who are forced to brake ancient vases in order to fit them in to the boxes provided by the museum (so they can be glued back together after arriving at the museums' conservationist). Taking on this absurdity can be very well understood as a institutional critique. On the other hand the work seeks a positive approach to this destruction - in the future owners' active participation (epoxy glue for mending the vase was included), but also in freeing the mind from the rigor of schematic judgement - might there be something better in a broken, mended vase? Such an interesting twist happened already once in Japan when shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa  sent a damaged Chinese tea bowl back to China for repairs in the late 15th century. When it was returned repaired with ugly metal staples, it may have prompted Japanese craftsmen to look for a more aesthetic means of repair. Collectors became so enamored of the new art that some were accused of deliberately smashing valuable pottery so it could be repaired with the gold seams of kintsugi. Kintsugi became closely associated with the ceramic utensils  used for Japanese tea ceremony.

 

 

Art Vending Machine was presented by Maryna Tomaszewska and Witryna Gallery, exhibiting artists were: Marco Bruzzone, Lou Cantor, Simon Denny and Daniel Malone, Bartek Materka, Anna Molska,  Agnieszka Polska, Mark Soo, Ignacio Uriarte, Sinta Werner and curator Sebastian Cichocki.