Fragile, Please Handle with Care

Ceramic Vessels, Packaging Materials, Video, and Performance, 2016

Ten ceramic vessels literally traveled from one part of the world to another -- from the United States to Iran. They traveled just like people do every day, and each one has a story to tell, a story that is told in form and transformation due to movement and chance events.  Some vessels show their fragility openly, others hide it, and the degree to which each is fragile varies.  Through their movement, handling, and their ultimate resilience or fragility they arrive in the state in which they are seen.  There is a fundamental dynamic between the object and its movement, which may or may not involve some degree of damage.  How are we to judge the objects on display – those that are there, those that were intended to be there, those that arrived in the same state that they started, and those that were ‘damaged’ or ‘transformed’ along the way? 


The answer may seem easy, when it concerns just vessels -- we applaud the lack of damage; we pity a piece that is broken -- but when we carry the metaphor further to people, what should we do?  The current state of refugees around the world offers a case in point.  Some people travel of their own volition; many now are moving because they have no choice.  Where they will end up and how they will be treated along the way remain unknowns. Ceramics have a lot to teach us about ourselves, so please handle them with care -- they have come such a long way.

The Process and Journey

Fragile, Please Handle with Care  Ceramic Vessels, Packaging Materials, Video, and Performance, Raheleh Filsoofi
Making the vessels
Drying the vessels
Labeling the vessels
The documentation of the vessels
Packing and labeling
Ready to ship
Postoffice in Boca Raton, Florida
Ready to go
Packages leaving the postoffice
Packages ready to leave the United States, Miami International Airport
The flight information
Packages arrived in Iran, the opening night in Niavaran Art Center
Opening the packages in the exhibition
The view of the exhibition and the states in which the vessels arrived. Few never made it.
The view of the exhibition, the states the vessels arrived, detail
A package returned back to sender few weeks later