Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Battle of the Sexes

Since time immemorial the differences between men and woman, which is not just the physical aspects, have become the source of somehow heated debates. It also inspired many authors to put pen to paper about the subject, the most referred to published works that come to mind is the 1992 book by John Gray ʻMen are from Mars, Women are from Venusʼ and ʻDefending the Cavemanʼ, a comedy by Rob Becker that first premiered in 1991.

In the feminine piece, I decided to use pretty decorations in the background, obtained by impressing antique wooden fabric printing blocks from India. The repetitive pattern on the rim is inspired by the Michael Graves design for Alessi, where he used raised studs in an all metal tray, I used metal screws in the clay. During firing the screws started melting and gives an interesting texture.

The quote ʻAnd crawling on this Planetʼs Face, a species called the Human Raceʼ comes from the Rocky Horror show. Men often refer to woman as ʻa different speciesʼ when they do not understand their behaviour.

In the masculine piece I used a more industrial background, reminiscent of chicken wire, often used to cage animals. The architectural elements symbolises strength associated with the physical side of men. The crack in the rim, unacceptable in utility ware, have been accentuated rather than repaired, and reminds of the ʻunacceptableʼ behavior of men when they feel they want to break free from their expected caged existence.

The quote is from ʻRespectableʼ by controversial German born American author and poet Charles Bukowski:

ʻI do not want to be respectable,
I want to live my life to the full...
...Iʼd rather live alone and drink until
I find somebody whoʼs on the pillʼ

Despite of disgust and disbelief, men and women still find a happy medium and can coexist in relative harmony fulfilling each otherʼs various needs.

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