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I think this is a funny story…

I went to Morocco to study ceramics and found a tradition that was dying. It was not that there still isn’t ceramics being manufactured (in fact one of the characteristics of now is that there is actually tons and tons of this stuff for sale absolutely everywhere), it is just that what is being sold now bears no relation to the classic beautiful blue and white glazed ware that one associates with Moroccan artisanal activity. So this slippage makes me posit that the tradition is dying, as nothing has replaced or re-energized it.

This is depressing, but I am not about to discuss why, to point fingers or try and be intelligent about any of this. I am just mentioning how I came to be here.

As in all other parts of the world, plastic is the new ceramics, the new material available for many different purposes, and many more purposes when it is recycled. It is bright, cheap, durable and available. It is also made from everyone’s favorite, oil. It is a global commodity, sometimes made in the country of use, but often not. In order to distance myself from the degraded ceramics, I started to use plastic as my departure point, casting it in ceramic. To complete the circle, I show both the original plastic next to the ceramic water bottles.

Plastic is the new ceramics.

yellow plastic 2 red plastic 2 blue/purple plastic 3 plastic/ceramics 3 plastic/ceramics 2 plastic/ceramics 3

arthelix

plastic

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yellow bidon   cast ceramic   6" x 5" x 3" ea.   2013

found moroccan plastic

red bidon   cast ceramic   6" x 5" x 3" ea.   2013

found moroccan plastic

blue/purple bidon   cast ceramic   6" x 5" x 3" ea.   2013

found moroccan plastic

plastic is the new ceramics 1     installation     2013

plastic is the new ceramics 2     installation     2013

plastic is the new ceramics 3     installation     2013

les bidons     installation at ArtHelix, Bushwick     2015

source: moulay idriss, morocco, december 2011