CALIBAN, THE SHAPE OF THINGS
A new project, begun for Lademoen Kunstdialoger in Trondheim 21th september - 13th October 2013.
Plastic-objects from supermarkets were re-made by people by hand, in clay; thus passing through the body of the consumer, but in a different way. From the clay-models I made moulds and cast the hand-made versions back into their original material: Hard plastic.
The project is aiming at consumer-objects in circulation in a very concrete way. Staring at them. One at a time. Touching them with my hands. Outside of their function; just like that. I guess I’m hoping to find something else, or at least another angle. Not sure yet, still working on it.
An entire supermarket like this, only without the buying and selling, only the touching: People can take things on the shelves, hold them, turn them, feel them, and perhaps recognize some and not others. A supermarket of touch?
Things in supermarkets are already shaped to look like they fit the hand, but also as if they have never been touched before. – Until I take it down from its shelf, of course.
I am the end consumer. I am the one who this thing is destined to land with. I am its final scenario. After me, it becomes trash. Or rather: Through me, it becomes trash. But I am not only an abstract unit, a consumer who can be measured, counted, registered and pre-calculated via algorithms. I am also – quite simply – a body. I touch and I take shape.
The body of the end consumer. Us, who consume the end.
And then, there are the shapes of these things. They are well known in abstraction (and actually not so far way from certain abstract sculptures), but quite strange to study close-up. Like a language of shapes; a language we were brought up with; a kind of mother-tongue. But a language we never speak.
Hence, the title so far: “Caliban”, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Here, Caliban – the once-prince of an island with no name and no language, is turned into slave by the islands conqueror and new ruler, Prospero (”he who knows how to profit”). Caliban has no language and is seen as a wild man, a beast. Prospero teaches him how to speak and turns him into a civilized man, or at least tries. Throughout the play, Caliban constantly uses his newly learned language to invent new swearwords. ”You taught me language; and my profit on’t
Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you for learning me your language!”