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Craft Theory and Practice through Fabrication and Film

EXHIBITION DEVELOPMENT SUMMARY

works: Powerline (Anatomical Film Study) Rage Offering (Ritual Object)

Ryan Holandes Summer 2011

Thesis Abstract Contemporary craft emulates fine art, eschewing function for abstract visual effect, and abandoning its primary distinguishing characteristic: the ability to operate directly in human experience. To articulate an alternative, this exhibition takes as its patron the practitioners of ritual body modification. Exploring the role of objects in transforming imagination into actuality, it exposes the reciprocal relationship between maker and user, highlighting design as a process that exploits material to invoke intense encounters. The written thesis explores the origins of visual craft within a world defined both by the principles of Modern Art and the sudden dominance of Industry. By looking at precolumbian metalwork and spiritual rituals, I demonstrate that alternative modes of perception have historically been exploited to great effect. I conclude by suggesting that, through the integration of object and flesh, the culture of body modification challenges makers for experience that is lived, rather than observed.

Ryan Holandes Powerline (Stills from an Anatomical Study) forged copper, grounding rod, nylon cord, surgical stainless steel 108 x 5 x 15 in

photography by Logan Rollins

The Powerline is an object study in the dynamics of ritual flesh pulls. The performance served as a technical analysis of the human body confronting an unyielding opponent. Typically, the challenge is between two individuals, with limits being set by the weakest individual. In this case, the object does not show weakness, aiming all attention to the puller. It becomes a test of character, and leaves a record of the achievement, which can be evaluated, or challenged, by the individual or community.

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Powerline (Scenes from an Anatomical Study) forged copper, grounding rod, nylon cord, surgical stainless steel 108 x 5 x 15 in

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Powerline (Scenes from an Anatomical Study) forged copper, grounding rod, nylon cord, surgical stainless steel 108 x 5 x 15 in

click image to view video

Powerline (Scenes from an Anatomical Study) forged copper, grounding rod, nylon cord, surgical stainless steel 108 x 5 x 15 in

click image to view video

Powerline (Scenes from an Anatomical Study) forged copper, grounding rod, nylon cord, surgical stainless steel 108 x 5 x 15 in

Ryan Holandes Rage Offering (launcher with glass ammunition) anodized titanium, surgical stainless steel, artificial sinew, blown glass 29 x 5 x 5 in Our social institutions sterilize perceptual experience, downgrading raw interaction into a vicarious visual commodity and leaving a populace quietly unfulfilled. This object is used in Rage-Letting, an unsanctioned ritual that allows primal emotions to complete their course. Mounted to the forearm by three pins pierced through the skin, it is employed periodically to depressurize the chaos bottled inside the socialized self.

click image to view video

Rage Offering (launcher with glass ammunition) anodized titanium, surgical stainless steel, artificial sinew, blown glass 29 x 5 x 5 in

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