HELD HOSTAGE: THE CORROSIVE USE OF MONEY IN POLITICS
OCTOBER 10 - NOVEMBER 12, 2013
OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2013 6 - 10 pm
Evans Contemporary is pleased to present Held Hostage: The Corrosive Use of Money in Politics by ceramic artist, Stephanie Rozene. Please join us for a celebration and opening reception of her exhibition on Thursday, October 10th.
Stephanie Rozene's research and art making focuses on the exploration of personal relationships through use, and the role that pottery form plays in communicating meaning. She makes work in the form of the utilitarian pot but is inspired by, and grounded in conceptual, historical and theoretical approaches to ornament, form, use, and making. Through the medium of ceramics (and with special attention to specific patterns, ornaments, and forms) she explores the politics of European and American dinnerware and traces international developments in this medium from Presidential china back to the reigns of French kings Louis XV and Louis XVI. By extrapolating patterns, Rozene creates her own visual language that speaks not only to national/international identities, but also to the extravagances to which government employs in order to maintain its identity. Rozene states, "through collaboration with other artists in various media we have been creating dialogues between culture, use, spending, consumerism, conflict, and excess through pattern."
Held Hostage: The corrosive use of money in politics continues the investigation of French influences on American china and politics. Here, Rozene uses patterns, ornament, and form from the Louis XVI china service (1783-93) and the Catherine the Great china service (1783) made by the Sevres National Ceramic Manufactory, Paris, France, both of which are widely acknowledged in the field as the most extravagant services created by the manufactory, to communicate meaning and create a discussion that reflects on our own contemporary language and political sphere. By taking patterns and forms from two different china services Rozene alludes to the two main political parties in the US, their relationship to money, power, and role in last fall’s presidential election (270 electoral votes are needed to elect a president), the increase of congresses wealth from insider trading deals, and the glaring disparity between the wealthiest and poorest in our economy. Responding to an increasingly divided congress, which has resulted in the recent US government shutdown, the work seeks to communicate the ways in which politicians use rhetoric and policy making as reasons to side with their party over the good of the country, even when those decisions hurt the most poor and needy individuals. She illustrates these ideas by using lavish gold luster and slip patterning, images of the Great Seal of the United States, and references the color of the original French china, directly tying our current economy to similarities with pre-revolutionary France.
Held Hostage: The Politics of Hunger in America, Rozene’s most recent body of work continues her use of patterns from the lavish Louis XVI Service from Sevres but removes color, replacing it with a white on white pallet, decals and carvings, in place of gold luster to ground the work and remind the viewer of the austerity that America’s poor experiences daily. The subtle pattern and stronger decal images act as the reminder that although, the United State may be one of the most wealthy countries in the world it ranks last among first world nations when considering the 50 million people who live in poverty and struggle with hunger on a daily basis with little to no government assistance. This work seeks to continue the conversation of how American politicians are no longer working for the people but themselves and attempting to use rhetoric to cover up the need of the American people.
Through symbolism and history Rozene raises the question of money’s corrosive use in politics and how it affects the American people.
This body of work supported by the Winifried D. Wandersee Scholar in Residence at Hartwick College, The Milne Family Fund and the Hartwick College Faculty Research Grant program. This project could not have been possible without the assistance of Hartwick College students Alexandra Forst ‘13, Elliot Henry ‘13 and Erica Cantwell ’14
Stephanie Rozene is a ceramic artist who is dedicated to the advancement and development of the field of craft history and theory. She is particularly interested in the use of historical ornament as a visual language. Rozene holds an M.F.A in ceramics and craft history from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a B.F.A from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, New York.
Her numerous group exhibitions include show at Sherri Gallery as part of SOFA Chicago, The Davenport Gallery at Wayne Art Centre in Wayne PA, the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute Museum, Utica, NY, 123 Gallery at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, Baltimore Clayworks, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, MI, the Gloria Kennedy Gallery, NY and the University of Arkansas, in Monticello, AK. Her solo exhibitions have been featured at the Everson Museum of Fine Art and the Warehouse Gallery in Syracuse, NY, the McFall Gallery, Bowling Green, OH, Poplar ArtCraft in Calgary, AB and the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Rozene is the recipient of numerous awards and include grants from the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, ME, the Biennial Concordia Continental Ceramics Exhibition, Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, the Klein Foundation Research Grant from Bowling Green State University, and a nomination for the Horizon Award from the Museum of Art and Design in New York. Her support from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY includes numerous Faculty Research Grants, and Foreman Institute of Creative and Performing Arts Grants, as well as the Milne Family Fund Award, and the Winifried D. Wandersee Scholar in Residence award.
Rozene is currently an Assistant Professor of Art and the Ceramics Studio Head at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.
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PAOLO FORTIN - GALLERY COORDINATOR
LAUREN TREGENZA - RESEARCH FELLOW