After visiting her husband’s family in Kyushu, Japan, Bornstein learned the porcelain industry was pioneered by captive Korean potters in the 16th century. The artwork is a reflection on what it could be like for an artist to be held captive and forced to make art.

The artist researched the stories of SAM founding director Richard Fuller, and African art collector Katherine White. The title Concupiscence, a Latin term for lust or desire, alludes to the obsessive impulse shared by the museum, artist, viewer and collector.

An array of porcelain pieces, representing the sex organs of various organisms, including earthworms, barnacles and flatworms, is displayed in a vitrine similar to 17th century collector’s cabinets. Like Cuvier’s impossible classifying system of comparative anatomy, the artist observes that representing inchoate energies of creativity is a futile task.

Cast porcelain, dictionary, vitrine, 10 drawings, ink on paper
Vitrine: plexiglass, birch: 82” x 46” x 24”
Porcelain: 59 pieces, largest: 24”
Collection of Seattle Art Museum, Documents Northwest: Poncho Series
Photo credits: Paul Macapia, Rob Vinnedge

Copyright © 2017 Gloria Bornstein